We agreed to meet on his old turf. The day was grey, wet and the sharp wind nipped at my ankles as I walked onto his territory. Sandi Dlangalala sat at a picnic table under the protruding roof of the Drama Department, cosy in a maroon grandpa jersey, faded navy blue jeans rolled up, making his tawny combat boots more noticeable. He slouched but his broad shoulders were not hidden. His long legs stretched out from under the table, emphasising his line. Even when Sandi is in his most relaxed state, he cannot hide that he is a dancer.
Isolated in a crowd of unfamiliar faces outside the Drama Department I peered over several mirthful heads in search of Mike Da Silva, Honours Drama student and director of Tank. He was engaged in conversation and I knew I was going to have to stand around, waiting. A fish out of water. Continue reading →
“Do you mind if I smoke?” Ameera Mills asks, as I join her at the picnic table outside the Drama department. She pulls out a box of cigarettes and lights one with a match. The sound of high-pitched singing leaks through the closed doors of the department as a group rehearses inside.
Ameera has just finished her last Sunday morning rehearsal, applying the final touches to her highly anticipated Young Directors Season play, Oleanna. She directed Hana Kelly and Philip Sulter in their starring roles and is ready to show the piece to the world.
When Thembela Madliki was an undergrad at Rhodes University, she never imagined herself as a “drama kid”, rather a kid that did drama. “I was different from my BComm and BSc friends on one hand, but on the other I was different from the drama department kids. I don’t smoke, I’m not vegetarian, you know?” she laughs over her cup of coffee.
Her aspirations have been clear since the day in first year when she first encountered the Young Directors’ Season (YDS) pieces. “I saw the seniors do their YDS, and direct plays, and what-what, and I just couldn’t wait to get there,” she says. And she has given it her all.
It was the perfect day for an interview. I sat at the Provost coffee shop sipping on my cappuccino and smoking a cigarette,
waiting for Sam Pennington. I didn’t mind that the Honours Drama student was late; I was happy to soak in the long overdue sunny day.
He walked up to me with purpose; his stride was strong. “I’m so sorry I’m late. I was just in another interview,” he huffed, sitting down on the rickety picnic table seat, which lifted my side up like a see-saw.
Sam is a fidgety guy. He played with two hair-ties around his wrist the whole time, twisting them so tightly around his fingers that the tips turned purple. When he wasn’t cutting off his blood supply, he was carefully observing his surroundings or wiping his hands over the table in front of him.
This was a perfect introduction to him: restless and needing more, needing to do more. This is Sam. He is a dabbler.
Do not attend Welcome to the Zoo if you are likely to be triggered by graphic displays of sexual, physical and verbal abuse.
This is less a piece of theatre and more of an exhibition of rape culture. It is graphic, violent, painful to watch and intensely, perhaps necessarily, obvious in its project of education.
This is one for the buggers, for every man that has grabbed my ass in Friars, or pushed in front of me in a queue, or told me to keep quiet because I am “just a woman”. This is for the guy that has sexted and sent unsolicited dick pics to me and most of my female friends (you know who you are). This is for those who perpetuate power structures and judicial systems that silence the truth about the rape of men. It is for every person who has ever slut-shamed a woman, and for every community that turned a blind eye. Continue reading →
Intense and jarring, the performers leapt and stomped out a disjointed and frenetic performance in Waltz, a physical theatre inspection of masculinity and citizenship. Their bodies thrummed to the stirring and fragmented cacophony of sound in this National Arts Festival Fringe circuit Ovation Award winning piece. Continue reading →
Void demands an intelligent audience. One that is able to grasp the dystopian world and complex characters director Ameera Najwa Mills and the cast of Void have created. An audience able to make of the diverse aspects of the play whatever they will. There are no answers, the ending is abrupt and it is up to you to fill the void. Continue reading →
Nomcebisi Moyikwa struts up and down the rehearsal room, counting loudly as her steps measure her quick movement across the room. “Two, three, FOUR!” she shouts, clapping as the dancers jump on her command, the pressure mounting as the participants prepare for their next dance-march protest through the streets of Grahamstown. Continue reading →
Rafe’ Green must have magic in his feet. What else could explain the beauty in his twists, turns and delicate leaps?
A second year humanities student at Rhodes University and one of the six dancers involved in The Gathering Project, Rafe’ seems to live for dancing. But why exactly does he love dancing, whose music moves him, and what is his spirit animal?