Represent Review: The Invader

Catch The Invader this week at Wits Theatre – our Representah Linda gives us her view on the seemingly controversial play:  I sit down in the Wits Amphitheatre, ready to watch the play “The Invader”. A very loud rock song is pulsing through the speakers, filling the auditorium. I can’t figure out what the song is because I don’t know any rock music released post-1992, when I finished school and began to exercise my long-awaited right to choose what music to listen to. But I digress…. The song is LOUD… but through it I can hear voices raised, people are fighting, a man and a woman. The argument seems to be coming from backstage, and seems quite incongruous with the song, so I’m wishing the stage manager would realise they’ve left the music on, and turn it off, because the play is about to start. It carries on though, and I start thinking… maybe there’s a serious argument backstage and the music is being played to drown it out while we wait. All kinds of scenarios are playing themselves out in my imagination about who is arguing – maybe the director cheated on his actress girlfriend, and she is now refusing to go on stage; or somebody is throwing an artistic tantrum about the props…(yeah I’m a gossip junkie, sometimes).  The drama unfolds in my mind until I realise the backstage argument is part of the script. A young girl comes running out on stage, a pantsula type of dude right on her tail yelling and screaming all kinds of obscenities at her. She is running from him, trying to duck his hands slapping her, trying to outrun his feet kicking her, she’s frantically throwing whatever obstacle she can find into his path to slow him. But he catches up to her and assaults her. The scene is rough. He beats her, calls her a whore, and rapes her. All the while the rock tune continues playing, LOUD. While I want it to stop playing so I can hear better what he’s saying to her, I’m actually grateful it is playing, so I don’t have to hear it; and the song also distracts me from listening to her anguished screams. Much respect to the young actress, she will go far. This is the powerful opening scene of “The Invader”. The rest of the play is about the theme of rape and sexual violence – from the story of rape victims turned sexual aggressors, to women raped at a young age, who think they’ve dealt with the issue until it comes back to haunt them in adult life, to male victims of rape....

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Call for interest – Newtown Diwali Festival
Jun15

Call for interest – Newtown Diwali Festival

After a triumphant event last year, organisers of the Newtown Diwali Festival are proud to announce that preparations are underway for the Newtown Diwali Festival 2007 which will take place on the 27th of October 2007, in the Newtown Cultural Precinct.  After logging a record attendance of over 40 000 festival-goers last year, coordinators of the Newtown Diwali Festival 2007 are now calling on all cultural and community organisations to submit expressions of interest to participate in their cultural programme which will take centre stage at the festival.  Last year’s cultural programme showcased a high caliber of local talent, resulting in a dazzling programme of music, song and dance. Interested organisations should contact Festival Programme Coordinator, Ravi Naidoo on ravi@newtowndiwalifestival.co.za .  Please cc all mail to r.naidoo@telkomsa.net.  Submissions must include: the name of the organisation, contact person, all contact details, the category of participation (ie. music, song or dance), genre of item (ie. classical, semi-classical, fusion, modern), a brief description of the item and the approximate duration. The closing date for all submissions is Friday, 28 July 2007.  For additional information, Ravi Naidoo may be contacted on 082 923 5622. The Newtown Diwali Festival 2007 takes place in the Newtown Cultural Precinct on Saturday, the 27th of October from 10am to late.  Entrance is...

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Represent Review: Storm in a Teacup
Jun12

Represent Review: Storm in a Teacup

Represent is so much richer for the wonderful flavour that our Representah Reuben “The Matrix” Malema’s words bring to our community.  Reuben caught “Storm in a Teacup” , one of the performances featured in the showcase of Wits School of Arts “Masters’ and Honours’ students research projects… as usual, he gave it the “Full Matrix”.  See some photo’s here: A masterpiece of skillful art direction, well designed stage décor, a bag of laughs to last the whole week and flawless film-noir expertise! These are but a few of the phrases used to describe the grand finale of the little over 45 minutes – 3 member cast, music-filled theatrical satire: A Storm in a Teacup by Team Best Productions (Wits Theatre). The setting is a fast-paced disastrous office ambience, made more apparent by the relentlessly authoritarian company boss – Mr. Bill Sampson (played by Bryan van Niekerk), who seems to be lost in a care-free; self-centered life rather than effectively steering the reigns of his family’s enterprise. Storyline:  The Christmas party co-ordinator, Zetie (played by Naomi van Niekerk) gets ditched by (already paid for) one “DJ Spear” at the eleventh hour.  She also has to deal with a Father Christmas – Patrick (played by Asher Stoltz) who’s not too keen to be resident Santa clause, but would rather make known his secret affection for the worker-bee: Zetie.  The story is an all too familiar experience for many corporate employees who get engaged in the hustle and bustle of organizing the much anticipated annual company Christmas party. And from the immediate reciprocity of many an audience member, the play reeled–out a somewhat timely aha! moment which I dare call a majority affirmation of a very noticeable and much appreciated “dé jà vu”! This play was nothing like any of the other plays that I’ve seen before and its director (Gordon Lindsay) strongly concurred with my statement by alerting me to the fact that Team Best (as they affectionately call themselves) went to elaborate lengths to push the boundaries and to a certain degree radically warp traditional theatre styles by “literally staging the play inside a collection of hand-held aluminum rectangle frames”. The unusual props not only produced a creative visual effect pointing to the “behind the scenes” brewing of “a storm in a teacup”, but also captivated the mesmerized audience’s attention, pulling their concentration to each “framed-in scene” while still having a full perspective of the entire set  –  nothing else, but a given!  Like any well narrated contemporary adult story; A Storm in a Teacup has many of the usual elements which characterize such theatrical acts, vis-à-vis: Jealousy amongst colleagues (for the only girl!), hidden passion, rush decisions made in an...

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G-Town festival coming up…already!
Jun08

G-Town festival coming up…already!

Can you believe it! The Grahamstown Festival has snuck up on us again – signalling that we’re nearly half-way through 007… ahhh. I wish I could go!  So many good memories of a cold G-town valley – me and the chommies drifting around semi-broke absorbing the non-stop talent, donning hideous tie-die bell-bottoms just to fit in… catching the hottest jazz and then dancing all night to unknown dj’s… If you love art and you haven’t yet been, put it in your “must do” agenda.  You can even camp!  We did.  You just may need some special help keeping warm.  This year it’s from the 28 June – 7 July, check out all the details here.  Catch Nik Rabinowitz and his One Man One Goat comedy show – details below – we’ll let you know what else is happening as and when we find out! GRAHAMSTOWN SMILES AS NIK FINDS HIS GOAT Stand-up comic Nik Rabinowitz takes his sell-out, hoof-kicking third show, One Man One Goat, to the Grahamstown Festival from 28th June to 7th July. Suitably “fringe”, Nik’s comedic timing has audiences howling with laughter at material that ranges from Tintin to Tutu and Yengeni to Yoko Ono. Says Argus Tonight critic Derek Wilson in his December ‘06 interview: “One often hears – and can confirm – that a comedian off-stage can be tediously serious, if not downright morose. Not Nik. He had me laughing at the outset of our interview – and all the way through…it became like a hilarious multi-lingual conversation at one point.” Rabinowitz’s fluent use of Xhosa, Zulu, English and Afrikaans in his shows has become his signature. Says Cape Times’ Peter Tromp in a January ’07 review: “Rabinowitz is an amicable presence, and has such a relaxed and warm disposition, that he keeps any suspicions that he might be just another smart-aleck mining South Africa’s loaded cultural trough at other people’s expense, comfortably at bay. His stage personality is also a generous one, and even though his material is far from politically correct or timid, Rabinowitz is unlikely to offend anyone with this show…..(whilst) probing cultural nooks and crannies, that few, if any, other comedians feel comfortable to pursue.” Covering everything from arrests to accusations, trials to tribal relations, One Man One Goat is an inspired, colourful journey across the rough terrain of the old-new South Africa, as we track one goat’s quest for freedom. Rabinowitz’s animated and offbeat humour astutely captures the goat-eat-goat world of today in an hour of rollicking fun. For guaranteed side-splicing laugh a minute, catch One Man One Goat at the Drill Hall and Rabinowitz as MC at the Sundowner Concerts taking place at the...

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Represent Review: Best of Ian & Rory
Jun06

Represent Review: Best of Ian & Rory

Sharpile to John for his words, if you’re a big fan of Ian von Memerty or Rory Rootenburg like John is, this sounds right up your alley.  The Best of Ian and Rory plays at the University Of Johannesburg Theatre on June 5, 6, 8 and 9. Booking is open at Computicket. Two lives, played out on a stage in one and a half hours – it was an honour attending the Best of Rory and Ian show at the University of Johannesburg Arts Centre. I’ve been waiting in anticipation since last year to see this show. Those that know Rory Rootenburg and Ian von Memerty will know that they are two seasoned professionals – no surprises here. The show contained clips of their careers in the music business and contained something for every music lover’s taste. My musical taste buds were tickled when Rory reprised his role as the Phantom of the Opera with two beautiful songs – taking me back to the State Theatre a few years back when the show exploded on our stages. Ian’s rendition of pop classics by Elton John and such had us rolling in the isles with laughter – man this guy can make magic with a piano. There were some sad and some serious moments as well. The segment on Jewish music had me totally lost for ten minutes – but rather than criticize, I’m willing to admit my total ignorance on the subject. The comedy came thick and fast with funny lyrics and the two performers playing a bitchy role while announcing each other – the comments had us laughing our heads off. Rory’s comedy version of Carmen and Ian’s walk through the history of South Africa were very funny and worth the price of admission by themselves. Their pianist also needs a mention. He played flawlessly and even participated in some of the antics on stage. As I said – nothing new in this show – you get what you expect from two artists of this caliber. Good, solid performances, brilliant vocals, brilliant “piano”, and a good chuckle. Go see it – I highly recommend it – they have a very limited run in Johannesburg. ************************************* PR: They are two of South Africa’s best-loved entertainers and they’ve joined forces in a hilarious and moving not-to-be-missed journey down musical lane.  The inimitable music duo of Ian von Memerty and Rory Rootenberg perform highlights from their favourite musicals in The Best of Ian and Rory which plays Johannesburg for four nights only next month. Rootenberg shares some of the great moments as The Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, does the opera...

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