It was not a great theatre day for me. The Butcher Brothers had no electricity and was cancelled. Then I saw the worst thing ever. But. oh joy and delight. I went to Benchmarks tonight.
I loved Benchmarks a lot. It’s quite typical FTHK work; masks, wordless, visual, obscure. But for me, the work has arrived. It’s the story of a refugee, a home affairs official and a reclusive ex actress, in Cape Town, and how their little lives get drawn together and how they influence each other to change and grow.
It started with the creepiest bird puppet things. They became death, street child/gangster Munch scream creatures. Creepy. Then there was a home affairs Single Ladies extravaganza. Hilarious. Then everything unfolded, and the story started happening and I was absorbed and completely shattered by the end.
Here is a list of the things I loved. The performers; who were completely unbelievable. The masks; especially the policemen and the home affairs chicks, and the refugee, and the aging actress and the home affairs man, and the gangsters. But especially the policemen. The set. Two cupboards that open up; one into an office and one into an old lady’s flat. The lighting. The story.
I really think that Ugli Bob and co are in the zone here. Beautiful. Benchmarks comes most highly recommended.