It’s really exciting for me that 3 of the most interesting works I have seen this year have been plays presented as part of the Theatre Arts Admin Collective and GIPCA’s Emerging Director’s Bursary. Thando Dhoni’s Eutopia, Dom Gumede’s Crepuscule and now Villa Sofia by Lidija Marelic. It’s been a treat seeing such diverse, yet detailed, passionate and committed work of a very, very high standard. Bravo.
Villa Sofia starts off at a massive advantage. Lidija put together Cape Town’s best to devise this work. Susan Danford, Terry Norton and Adrian Galley carry the life of this play and make it brilliant and moving. It is an odd story, that takes a while to access; what I actually know about the Serbs and Croats (the setting and subject matter of the play) is terribly limited, but by half-way in the characters have drawn you into the story and it is a tragic journey then, to the end.
But that’s not all. I loved the set. I loved the music. I loved the lighting, costumes, styling. The text needs another phase of writing, I think. I imagine a dramaturg working with Lidija to take the text to the next level. In the meantime, go and see the deft young hand of the director and the brilliant cast who live their characters so truly.
I want to make an appeal to The Theatre Arts Admin Collective to find a way to do two week runs of these works. A minimum of two weeks is needed before the Fleur du Cap judges can consider a production, and all three of these deserve being considered.