The first time I came to the KKNK festival the one show I saw and loved was a collaboration between South Africans and a Dutch theatre group called Werner Consortium (I think). The Dutch are a feature of this festival, with three site specific works on offer. I went to see Onder Constructie today, and absolutely loved it.
I must confess, I got so lost trying to find the performance space (it was absolutely wrongly placed in the festival booklet) and I ended up in tacky flea-market hell, with toy AK47s, boerewors rolls, Klipdrift gardens, beer gardens, cider gardens, cheap sunglasses and many and varied other stinky stuff. I had given up actually, and had gotten into my car and driven away when I saw the venue in the main drag!
I am so glad I found it. The construction site is home to a set of broken fridges, washing machines and a huge, unfamiliar metal frame construction. This set is populated by four crazy, physical performers who climb, slide, fall, clown, stage fight, make nests, drag tents, have wars, bury comrades, explode, find water, and move the whole set around to build a giant megalomanic powered wall! The story is amazingly clear, with very few words spoken, and is political, clever and very moving, while being surprising and hilarious.
The KKNK has invested a lot in site specific work this year, and it is wonderful to watch a theatrical experience in the most unexpected of places. Tomorrow I’m off to see another one, called Ararat.