#10TheatreFacts: Gopala Davies on 'A City' at #NAF18

June 4, 2018

A City forms part of a new platform at the National Arts Festival, STAGED, and is supported by the High Commission of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts.

 

Presented as a gallery installation or tableaux vivant, A City is an intimate, painfully funny testament to a time and place; the end of a friendship and a shifting world. Gopala Davies shares #10TheatreFacts about this #NAF18 offering.

 
1. How are you involved with A City? 

I am the director.

 

2. Where does the idea for A City come from?

A City is a play by the visiting Canadian playwright Greg MacArthur.

 

3. As a production, what genre of theatre best describes it?

A City is inspired by documented stories, recorded text, confessional monologues and fictional writing, and because of this, blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction. The play includes projection and recorded narrative and is presented in a disarmingly casual manner, as if the audience were eavesdropping on a personal conversation. These factors make it hard to place in a specific genre, however, terms such as intermedial performance, un-theatre and postdramatic theatre are relevant. 

 

4. How would you briefly describe A City to someone who has no idea what it is about to convince them that this is a festival must see show?

A City is an intimate, personal study of four artists/friends, who tell the story of a famous friend who died under mysterious circumstances, and how he transformed them. Based on the members of a real indie theatre company in Montreal (Sidemart Theatrical Grocery), A City is an intimate, painfully funny testament to a time and place, it is about the end of a friendship and a shifting world.

 

5. What do you like most about A City?

The universality of this text.

 

6. Who would be the ideal audience member to come see A City?

If you have experienced loss, friendship, longing and nostalgia then this show is for you.

7. What about A City do you think will fascinate or captivate audiences most?

A City's casual mode of representation combined with recorded interviews makes for a fascinating theatrical experience. 

 

8. Without giving anything away, what’s your favourite line from A City?

"You need vulnerability to be a good person and to be a good actor as well".

 

9. What message or experience would you like the audience to take away from seeing A City?

I would like the audience to experience some form of connection, either with the four characters on stage dealing with their loss, or even just a deeper connection with their own narrative.

 

10. What does theatre as a lifestyle mean to you?

In my experience, theatre forms a powerful tool to illuminate, address and unpack social issues. It has the potential to raise a mirror to society, stimulating discussion and empathy. Theatre as a lifestyle is then a constant engagement with these multiple perspectives, and a willingness to learn and grow. 

 

Venue: Rehearsal Room

Dates: 3 & 4 July

Duration: 65min

Language: English 

Cast: Mpho Osei-Tutu, Liezl De Kock, Zak Hendrikz, and Alby Michaels

Director: Gopala Davies

Age Restriction: PG

Bookings: nationalartsfestival.co.za 

 

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