Press: Baxter artists-in-residence Alex McCarthy and Mdu Kweyama present their new productions The White Man’s Guide to Sacrifice and Reza de Wet’s Missing

Baxter 2015 artists-in-residence Alex McCarthy and Mdu Kweyama will showcase their two new works The White Man’s Guide to Sacrifice from 31 September until 10 October and Reza de Wet’s Missing from 14 to 24 October at the Baxter Golden Arrow at 7pm.

 

The staging of this season has been made possible through the support of the Rolf-Stephan Nussbaum Foundation and the Arts and Culture Trust. It has afforded the young theatre-makers the opportunity to ‘incubate’ and develop their work, and comes as a culmination of the process during their tenure as artists-in-residence at the Baxter. Earlier this year they collaborated with dancers Grant van Ster and Shaun Oelf to present Most Honest Man, as part of a double bill of dance, with dramaturgy by McCarthy and direction and choreography by Kweyama.

The season kicks off with the dark farce The White Man’s Guide to Sacrifice that is written and directed by Alex McCarthy, who is also responsible for the set design. The cast is made up of Nathan Lynn (Raiders the Musical, The Open Couple, Pride and Prejudice), Cameron Robertson (Cry Havoc, Raiders the Musical, Pride and Prejudice), Sive Gubangxa (Heart of Redness, After Dark in the Groot Marico, UHM) and Jazzara Jaslyn (Every Beautiful Thing, Mephisto, A Lie of the Mind).

 

The quirky and hilarious story centres around two young men, Fork and Scholtz, who have just been accepted into the Lamborghini Club. This has been their dream for as long as they can remember. With the club’s connections, they will be fast-tracked up the corporate ladder and welcomed into the arms of luxury. In three days important club members are coming over for the party of a lifetime, and these two wannabees have no choice but to impress.

 

However, there is a problem. The two young, white South African men discover a living, breathing, defecating cow in their new and expensive apartment. But just how exactly did the cow get there? After all, this is something that only happens to taxi and bus people, not to Lambourgini people! The club dare not find out. As ancestors, business card-wielding entrepreneurs and powerful personal assistants become involved, the two friends are presented with a choice: sacrifice their place in the Lambourgini Club, or seal their position in the blood of an innocent animal.

 

Last year Alex graduated from UCT’s Drama Department receiving the Mavis Taylor award for theatre-making. His focus is on writing and directing for the stage. He has directed Him, Her and It (2013) and Peter Wilhelm’s Pyro Protram (2014). Along with Callum Tilbury, he won the Best Writing award for UHM (2014) at the National Arts Festival Student Festival which was later performed at Artscape and at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK). Most recently he wrote and directed Fog Ducking and Rainshark.

 

The White Man’s Guide to Sacrifice previews on 31 September and 1 October, opens on 2 October and runs until 10 October at 7pm nightly. There is an age restriction of 15 years.

Mdu Kweyama breathes new life into acclaimed South African playwright Reza De Wet’s Missing, which has been adapted from the original and translated by Stephen Stead into English, under the title Reza de Wet’s Missing. It has been made possible through the support of the Rolf-Stephan Nussbaum Foundation, Arts and Culture Trust and the US Woordfees.

 

The play stars Faniswa Yisa (Born in the RSA, Every Year, Every Day, I Am Walking, Voices Made Night), Clyde Berning (Hamlet, The Great Gatsby, Mass Appeal), Daneel van der Walt (Long Street Nights, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dalliances) and Sonia Buqwana (Amaza, Bash or Be or Be Bashed, Xhokaans).

 

The young director takes the play out of its better-known Afrikaans idiom and places it into a universal realm as Kweyama brings more physicality to her poetic writing. The magical-realist play about a young daughter’s escape from her dysfunctional rural family brings women who are trapped and scared into the spotlight. How far will their fear take them?

 

Kweyama graduated with a Performance Diploma in theatre in 2004, an Honours Degree in directing and education in 2012 and last year he completed his Master’s degree in directing - all from the University of Cape Town Drama Department. Before that, he trained as a contemporary dancer at Jazzart Dance Theatre.

 

Over the last 10 years, he has gained extensive experience in theatre and dance, performing in a wide range of work that includes MacBeth, Hamlet, Verkeer, Altyd Jonker, Karoo Moose and Onnest’Bo. In 2004 he was awarded the Best Student in Movement Recognition at UCT and in 2006 he was nominated for the best newcomer in dance and acting at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK). In 2007 he started working in television, performing in Shooting Stars, Stokvel and Montana and then in 2008 he received Naledi awards for best actor in a lead role and best original choreography for Karoo Moose.

 

In 2013 he won the best director award at the Setkani Festival in the Czech Republic for his adaptation of Mike Van Graan’s Brothers in Blood and last year he directed Mike Van Graan’s Return of the Ancestors for the National Arts Festival, the Vryfees in Bloemfontein and at Artscape.

 

Reza de Wet’s Missing previews on 14 and 15 October, opens on 16 October and runs until 24 October at 7pm nightly. There is an age restriction of 13 years.

 

Booking for The White Man’s Guide to Sacrifice and Reza de Wet’s Missing  is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet and tickets are R100 per production. Book for the Early Bird special and pay just R60 for bookings made before 28 September and this applies to the first four performances only.

 

For discounted corporate, schools or block-bookings, charities or fundraisers, contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962, email sharon.ward@uct.ac.za or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993, email carmen.kearns@uct.ac.za.

 

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