Two plays showcasing the work of young, emerging Cape Town theatre-makers Lwanda Sindaphi and Nwabisa Plaatjie, will be staged at the Baxter Theatre Centre from the end of February. Sindaphi’s futuristic drama, KUDU, opens at the Baxter Flipside on 27 February. From 13 March, Plaatjie, recently nominated for a Fleur du Cap for Best New Director, will bring 23 YEARS, A MONTH AND 7 DAYS, a moving work of physical theatre and storytelling.
The Baxter, in association with Magnet Theatre, is immensely proud to bring to the professional stage two uniquely fresh works by these talented and dynamic new voices in theatre. With this ‘double bill’ the Baxter is launching a professional platform specifically dedicated to emerging artists. Patrons are encouraged to book for both plays by taking up a discount offer of R120 for a combined ticket.
Kudu and 23 Years were written in 2016, when the artists were part of a Theatre-making Internship at Magnet Theatre. Alongside trainee actors from Magnet’s Full-time Training and Job Creation Programme and under the mentorship of seasoned theatre-makers, educators and Magnet directors, Mark Fleishman and Jennie Reznek, Sindaphi and Plaatjie excelled.
Sindaphi is a founder member of the Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement, based in Delft, and has been listed as Badilisha’s Top Ten Poets in Africa. He trained at New Africa Theatre Academy and Magnet and turned to directing early on in his career, winning Best Director at the Baxter’s 2013 Zabalaza Theatre Festival. “The Magnet programme provided us with the opportunity to work freely, without the restraints of financial difficulties, and in a nurturing environment,” he says. “One could answer to and explore one’s true creative dreams and impulses, rather than to settle for water-downed versions.”
Kudu is set in the year 2030. The Eastern Cape is ruled by the AmaXhosa nation when three Khoi descendants and their aging cow migrates to the area. Having heard stories of the killing of Khoi chief Ndoda in a land dispute in earlier times, they step up to reclaim what they believe to be theirs. “Kudu is about people fighting to be acknowledged while present and not as extinct. It is about reclaiming land and language, customs and culture, and spirituality,” says Sindaphi.
The play was created in collaboration with the original cast for its first performance at Magnet Theatre in 2016. The cast is Beviol Swarts, Emmanuel Ntsamba, Livie Ncanywa, Luthando Mvandaba, Lwando Magwaca, Natasha Gana, Inge Isaacs and Zizipho Ouluba. Design is by Craig Leo and choreography by Jennie Reznek.
23 Years, A Month and 7 Days
Nwabisa Plaatjie, recipient of Theatre Arts Admin Collective’s Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary as well as the first recipient of Baxter Theatre’s PlayLab residency program, is now also a Fleur du Cap nominee, for Best New Director, 2017. She graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BA honours degree in Theatre and Performance in 2015, the year during which the student protests flared up across South Africa. 23 Years, her first play as “a professional” was also her response to these protests.
Performed in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa, 23 Years uses storytelling and physical theatre to engage with the complex struggles faced by womxn who find themselves in social and political environments that are systemically violent. It is set against the 2015 student uprisings, between South Africa’s higher learning institutions and Potter’s Field, a poverty stricken area. A young womxn of humble upbringing, Nontyatyambo, need to redefine her position in society when she finds her identity in conflict with her environment.
“I was dealing with themes of migration, but I did not want to enforce and limit myself to the stereotype of the ‘poor black’ from rural areas who goes to the city. I created Potters Field as a place that reflects the struggles that are also present in places outside of rural areas,” says Plaatjie.
“Furthermore, I wanted to create a work that gives attention to a female voice that is not necessarily revolutionary, that of the student amidst the protest but not protesting. So, the subject is not a hero but rather her presence and experiences as an ordinary person,” she ads. 23 Years, A Month and 7 Days was performed at Magnet Theatre in 2016 and has since toured internationally.
Kudu runs at the Baxter Theatre Flipside from 27 February to 10 March at 7.30pm nightly with morning performances on 2, 6 and 8 March at 11m and a Saturday matinee performance on 3 March at 2pm.
23 Years, A Month and 7 Days runs at the Baxter Theatre Flipside from 13 to 24 March at 7.30pm with morning performances on 20 and 22 March at 11am and a Saturday matinee performance at 2pm.
The cast for both productions is Beviol Swarts, Emmanuel Ntsamba, Livie Ncanywa, Luthando Mvandaba, Lwando Magwaca, Natasha Gana, Inge Isaacs and Zizipho Ouluba. Design is by Craig Leo and choreography for Kudu, by Jennie Reznek.
Bookings for both shows are through Webtickets on 086 111 0005, online at www.webtickets.co.za or at selected Pick n Pay outlets. Tickets cost R100 and R80 for matinee performances. A combination ticket to see both plays is R120 and available from the Baxter Box Office only.
For discounted school or group block bookings, fundraisers or charities contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or email her at email@example.com.