Last night I took a theatre hungry friend with me to see the second night of Crepuscule, the latest offering by The Theatre Arts Admin Collective and GIPCA’s emerging director’s bursary.Â Khayelihle Dom Gumede adapted this Can Themba story for the stage and then directed it. Set in Sophiatown in the 50’s, it tells the story of love across the colour line, and the trouble it caused.
I was totally heartsore that there were so few of us there. And I felt how impossibly difficult it must have been for the cast to plough on through with just us few as an audience. I was also totally blessed that they did. This play deserves a proper audience. A huge audience, and a long run. Where is everybody?
I was so moved, inspired and in love with this piece that I want to do this writing about it differently too.
Dear Dom, I don’t really know you, but have seen you around and I know some of the small difficulties (and even some of the big ones) you had getting your beautiful show up and running here. I am blown away by your work. I love your adaptation of the story; a process that is excruciatingly difficult, because there has to be deference to the writing and writer. You have captured this very successfully. I love how the script moves from the pure, high poetry of love to the more mundane language of politics and pain. I love your direction, which shows an inspired vision and a very light touch. I love your design and all the period work, and I love your attention to detail, in the layers of performance you brought out of the performers. One of my favourite little moments is when Malcolm is given a small, white sized beer instead of a quart in the shebeen. Oh, and I loved the tiny curtains. And I loved the transitions from stylised to naturalism, and I loved the singing, and I loved the intimacy, just to name a few of the many things I loved. Bravo Dom.
Dear Anele Sithulweni, you I know (and love). What an amazing performance. Anele you stole my heart. Confident, articulate, sexy, raging, true to the style of the time, and totally completely in it and present. This is your best work to date. Please find a way to do this play more, and all over, so people can see how brilliant you are.
Miekke-Dene le Roux, I have seen you in The Mechanicals, but here you take things to another level. Wow. I was so moved by your performance, characterisation, lightness, ease, deep connection, delicious physicalisation and total immersion in Janet. You are absolutely perfect. I loved you and your work.
Dear Kgomotso Matsunyane andÂ Luvuyo Mabuto, you are both totally new to me and I was so excited by you two. I loved your performances. Kgomotso you are so easy and at home on the stage, and you are a powerhouse of energy and emotion. Delicious. Luvuyo, you are just totally exciting and magnetic, and I couldn’t take my eyes off you. Bravo.
Glen Biederman-Pam, you were such an eye-opener last night. I have seen you before as a lead, and it’s quite a transition into ensemble and cameo work, but you were amazing. The intensity and maturity of your performance was so moving. This is the best thing I have seen you do. I am thrilled by your work here.
Nobuthle Ketelo. How proud am I to see you in this, my old student? You were gorgeous, generous, present, and your voice!
Crepuscule is an epic, moving, thrilling, inspiring piece of theatre. Members of the cast who are from Cape Town, and all of us who have seen this piece, let’s beg, force, cajole, encourage, nag and drag people to see this. I know they won’t be sorry.