The opening night of Miskien at The Intimate Theatre tonight was a great way for me to break what has been a bit of a theatre drought. I loved the show and was very moved by it. Directed by Tara Louise Notcutt and performed by Albert Pretorius and Gideon Lombard, Miskien is the sometimes very funny, sometimes totally recognisable, sometimes almost stereotypical, and mostly very poignant story of friendship and love between two guys.
The characters are beautifully drawn and incredibly well performed, neither man losing a moment, making it engaging all the time. I loved them. I loved their charm, their drunk scene, their rugby watching. I loved how they slipped from English to Afrikaans and from hardcore to naff with such ease.
But it was the direction of the piece that I thought was really masterful. Tara’s attention to detail was so cool. The sound and lights were amazing. The use of the space and the different doors were inspirational and the balance and tension of the final scene was beautiful. I really loved this play.
One of the best things about it is that although homosexuality is a theme, it isn’t a message. Nobody is driving anything home, or being sexually gratuitous, or slam dunking an issue down our throats. This is a story, of how two best friends live, and feel about each other. It is brave, original, sexy, South African theatre.
I must confess that there were times that I worried about the fact that I had dragged a 17 year old schoolboy, who is job shadowing me, with. The hardcore language and sex descriptions had me staring at Big Friendly with eyes the size of saucers, but the schoolboy promised me he was cool with the play, and on our way home he said how much he had enjoyed it. I’m getting old hey? I think this play must do the Afrikaans theatre festival circuit.