Scene It: Salt ... memories under the sea ...

April 20, 2015

A rhythmic dance without music draws you in and the current it creates sweeps you away, as you embrace the adrenaline of the fear and the majestic appeal of the ocean... in the first few seconds, as you sit down in the Kalk Bay Theatre...


Salt, created by Wynne Bredenkamp, sees you meeting Aya as her mind floats around at the bottom of the ocean, where it is safe from the reality of the "civilised" world. Describing herself as the daughter of the Sun and the Ocean, Aya reminded me of the character Nell in the movie by the same name. My first thought, as they did the curtain call, was this is Ariel meets Nell... a "wild child" forced to conform and eventually going crazy when the demanding standards of "civilised" normal overwhelms her.


Having our customary hot chocolate and cortado in the restaurant upstairs after the show, Faz and I unpacked our experience. It was definitely beautifully sad... beautiful text brought to life in the dying moments of a pure, untainted soul. Moving, traumatic, mesmerising all at once. Faz described it as the reverse Tarzan effect (if Tarzan didn't get a happily ever after). I have to agree, but I want to add that yes, if Tim Burton re-imagined the Tarzan story. I really think Tim Burton would approve of Salt and see the beauty in the darkest depths of the oceanic tides of Aya's mind.


This story about a doctor trying to help an apparently schizophrenic patient (haunted by the memory of her brother) come to terms with her past, will resonate differently with every person who sees it. Depending on whether your life has in some way or another been touched by suicide, abandonment, mental disease or simply the loss of a loved one, it will have a moving effect, even if sometimes uncomfortable. One can expect nothing less, as salt heals a wound, but it also hurts a little when it disinfects.


Bravo to cast and crew on the brilliant execution of a beautifully scripted piece of indie theatre, artistically brought to life with majestic movement and minimalistic impact-punching set design. Salt at Kalk Bay Theatre and Restaurant is worth seeing. It runs until 3 May 2015 and tickets can be purchased online at R120 per person. While you are there, treat yourself to a dinner at the theatre restaurant too. You won't be disappointed!


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