It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to see the story of a storyteller, and not just any storyteller, the renowned South African author and activist, Chris Van Wyk. With Van Wyk: The Storyteller of Riverlea, at the Baxter Theatre until 29 June 2019, you're in for a real theatre treat.
Created by Zane Meas, directed by Christo Davids, Van Wyk: The Storyteller of Riverlea pays homage to Van Wyk as a man with strong community roots. With this one-man play set in a transitional moment —just after Van Wyk lost his fight against cancer— it allows for a moment of pause and nostalgia. Van Wyk stands in conversation with the audience as he reflects on the memories and moments that formed and inspired him as son, husband, father, and writer.
A man with a strong political stance and community loyalty, the narrative relies greatly on extracts from Van Wyk's works (charmingly recited by Meas) to celebrate his legacy in a manner that reflects his spirit through his spirited words. Meas brings Van Wyk's poetic presence to stage with energy and emotion —a charismatic and endearing performance.
Meas invites you into Van Wyk’s life as he becomes the author we all know. He reveals Van Wyk to the audience in various states of his life, from the enthusiastic young book lover (in Matilda-like fashion learning to read at an early age so that he good explore stories, specifically Spiderman stories, himself) to the adult with strong political views and a writer greatly influenced by his mother.
The tone and character of this gripping play is further accentuated by a striking set design that highlights the type of books Van Wyk treasured as part of his personal home-library, as well as the paths he would've walked through Riverlea.
Van Wyk: The Storyteller of Riverlea is a moving play that will appeal to both those well acquainted with Van Wyk’s exceptional writing, and those yet to experience the allure of his words. You can see Van Wyk: Storyteller of Riverlea at the Baxter Theatre until 29 June 2019, with tickets available online at Webtickets.