I went to go and see one of the shows on at the Ikhwezi festival at The Baxter yesterday. I am a huge fan (and friend) of festival organiser and theatre stalwart Itumeleng Wa-lehulere. I think it is amazing that the festival is celebrating its 10th year and there are so many plays on this time around.
I saw The Judas Affair yesterday. I went to see it to check out what the director Abey Xakwe was doing. He is a fantastic actor, educator and communicator. Sandi Banda wrote the script and stars in the play which is a soapie kind of story about a man, Jude, who has an, wait for it, affair!
Abey struggled to make the dialogue feel original. It was filled with cliches that made it difficult to play. Also, there was too much furniture that was shlepped backwards and forwards making the dark scene changes really cumbersome and endless.
There were some really sweet moments though, and nice directorial touches. Not enough to make the production a success but enough to show that it has potential. My main concern is that it felt like a TV script and afterwards Sandi and Abey said that it had been written for film. Taking something that is meant for screen and putting it on stage needs more than just transferring it; it needs to be rewritten.
What is good is that the festival gives new directors, actors and writers a chance to try out their stuff. And look what talent the festival has spawned. None other than Chuma Sopotela, winner of the recent Fleur du Cap Best Actress award, to name but one.