Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Thando Dhoni

Villa Sofia stealing my heart

It’s really exciting for me that 3 of the most interesting works I have seen this year have been plays presented as part of the Theatre Arts Admin Collective and GIPCA’s Emerging Director’s Bursary. Thando Dhoni’s Eutopia, Dom Gumede’s Crepuscule and now Villa Sofia by Lidija Marelic. It’s been a treat seeing such diverse, yet detailed, passionate and committed work of a very, very high standard. Bravo.

Villa Sofia starts off at a massive advantage. Lidija put together Cape Town’s best to devise this work. Susan Danford, Terry Norton and Adrian Galley carry the life of this play and make it brilliant and moving. It is an odd story, that takes a while to access; what I actually know about the Serbs and Croats (the setting and subject matter of the play) is terribly limited, but by half-way in the characters have drawn you into the story and it is a tragic journey then, to the end.

But that’s not all. I loved the set. I loved the music. I loved the lighting, costumes, styling. The text needs another phase of writing, I think. I imagine a dramaturg working with Lidija to take the text to the next level. In the meantime, go and see the deft young hand of the director and the brilliant cast who live their characters so truly.

I want to make an appeal to The Theatre Arts Admin Collective to find a way to do two week runs of these works. A minimum of two weeks is needed before the Fleur du Cap judges can consider a production, and all three of these deserve being considered.

Capturing Sanity

There is only this week left to see the GIPCA and Baxter Theatre’s emerging director’s bursary award production at The Theatre Arts Admin Collective. Of the four full productions that we saw this weekend I was the most impressed and satisfied with this one.

Capturing Sanity is devised work, directed by young Jozi director Pusetso Thibedi and his cast Thando Doni, Nieke Lombard and Richard Mkhuseli Tafane. It’s about three people who are in an institution, searching for sanity and what will make them ‘normal’ and functioning again.

Thibedi has done great things with this talented, committed and enthusiastic cast. It is obvious that they all trust each other and were able to push boundaries together. This means that there are many poignant, emotional, raw and touchingly funny moments that are shared with an audience, and the play drew me in. It was also delicious to see such accomplished performances from fresh performers.

Effective use of the very few lights in the Methodist Hall, good staging (except for the endless dragging around of the steps), simple design elements and costume all pulled the piece together in a very satisfying, unifying whole.

This production took a little too long to get started, but once it got going I was completely there with it, and I really, really enjoyed it.

Now here’s the deal. It is on every night this week at 1930. There is an extra matinee performance on Saturday. The tickets are so cheap you will not notice that you have paid. Please, make an effort to see this work. There is good talent. It’s a good story. It is young and fresh and interesting. And it will keep you thinking. To make a booking, please contact the Theatre Arts Admin Collective on 021 447 3683 or email artsadmin@mweb.co.za

 

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