While I’ve been cooking and football watching Simon has been seeing plays!

Oh my aching head !!!!   My Festival life was invaded yesterday by a returning wife and stepson [from the UK], other family and friends – so naturally, as one does, we had a bit of a skop last night and my head aches this morning.

A quiet day [for me that is] yesterday – the Festival itself seemed just as busy as the weekend.   “LONDON ROAD” has a day off to give the girls a rest and I saw only 2 shows.   The first was “BREED” performed by the Ubom! Eastern Cape Drama Company featuring Andrew Buckland and Nox Donveli, directed by Brink Scholtz and written by Brink Scholtz in collaboration with the Cast. Telling the simple story of a group of squatters who take over an abandoned farmhouse, and the man who owns it who has his own demons and ghosts, it is  a humourous, humane and wonderfully performed play.   That some of the squatters and the farm owner have an intertwined history becomes apparent as the play goes on. For me personally it was great to see Andrew Buckland on the stage after quite a bit and to watch him weave his magic but he was definitely not alone on that stage and the other performers were really good. I suspect that quite a few of them will owe the development of their talent to Janet and Andrew Buckland.   A goodie for sure !!!

From one Buckland to another – fth:k’s “QUACK” with Daniel Buckland, Liezl de Kock, Lysander Barends and others.    Described as an “afro-gothic visual theatre experience”, it is one of the plays developed by fth:k which asks you to “listen with your eyes”. Performed with the whole cast in masks and with no dialogue, “QUACK” is a complex and, to me, difficult piece from the fascinating mind of Rob Murray who wrote it and directs it. I think, and I really mean that I am not sure, the piece traces the life, times and death of a demagogue – whether he is political, religious or other I don’t know. He has a following and he makes speeches which are acclaimed but in secret he inhabits an elevated laboratory / lair where he is attended by an old crone and other acolytes. The old crone is a bearer and keeper of the secrets and she knows where the bodies are buried – literally, she buries them !  He needs to draw blood / life essence / spirit  from his followers using a demonic pump and inject same into to him to survive and this sometimes kills the subject of the withdrawal.   Then he creates a follower in his lab and uses her to draw down what he needs. But she is a rebellious, lively, enquiring spirit and is eventually his downfall.  When she commits suicide and he threatens another follower, the old crone and another who loves that follower conspire to deny him the medical treatment he needs and so he is overthrown. Actually it perhaps even more complex than that but I am going on a bit really to try and re-assure myself that I have got some kind of handle on the plot.   In my view this is probably the least accessible of the 3 current fth:k offerings  – to what I would regard as an average audience that is. It is very well performed by the cast, and the set and the fx [both sound and special] are fantastic.    I hope I have got it right !!!!  [To Zane – this is as far as I have got !!!!]

And so to day 10 of the 2010 Festival – bring it on.