A risqué Romeo and Juliet

Lesley Stones

08/27/2019 09:43:56

Lesley Stones: You have to admire the pluck of theatrical producers Abrahamse & Meyer for not taking the easy route.

Their latest production is Shakespeare’s R&J, and it’s both risky and risqué. Risky in that Shakespeare isn’t a guaranteed crowd puller, and risqué in that this version has a strong gay element that’s already seen some teachers cancel their planned school visits.

The eternal love story is now set in a Catholic boys’ boarding school in the 1950s, where the young scholars get hold of a copy of Romeo and Juliet and act it out at night.

The clever adaptation by Joe Calarco starts innocuously, with the daily rigmaroles at school punctuated by the insistent bell. Lessons spent conjugating verbs or reading from bizarre old-fashioned texts about the different roles of men and women. (Hopefully to set the scene in the 1950s, rather than to reflect what boarding school boys might still be taught.)

Blackboards swing over to become church iconography and desks and benches summon up the classroom setting. Then come playful scraps in a dormitory of bunk beds and the boyish breaking of rules. By now the actors have established their traits, with Matthew Baldwin standing out as the natural choice for Romeo, with his floppy romantic hair, lovesick swooning and a schoolboy eagerness to capture the fractures of his heart in an ever-present notebook.

The four actors play out highlights from Shakespeare’s script that give us all the action without any of the periphery. Simple props like blankets and bedside cabinets are all they have for their impromptu drama, so sheets turn into a nurse’s headdress and bunkbeds double for the balcony window from where Juliet is wooed.

Around that, Calarco has built a current of awakening sexuality that sees Baldwin’s schoolboy falling for his classmate (Tailyn Ramsamy) as much as his Romeo is falling for Ramsamy’s Juliet. That simmering and illicit infatuation angers the other boys, played by Dean Balie and Jeremy Richard, heaping up the tension as they wonder whether to curtail the heated late-night drama.

Shakespeare’s undiluted text fills the script, but a strange thing happens. In the hands and mouths of these supposed Catholic schoolboys, the words become more comprehensible than has been achieved in many other versions that I’ve seen. The innuendos are highlighted with schoolboy jests and the passions and anger portrayed vividly.

All four are excellent in their parts, with Ramsamy softening his features and voice to give Juliet a certain shyness. Richard reminds you what a good actor he is with his portrayal of The Nurse, when he suddenly swings from the sullen schoolboy angered by his classmates to become the nurse again, with his voice and demeanour changing instantly. Dean Balie is in total command as Mercutio and Friar Lawrence, with the only downside being that his skill and maturity suddenly seem disproportionate to the fact that he’s supposed to be a schoolboy.

Director Fred Abrahamse also designed the set and its excellent lighting, while Marcel Meyer worked as the voice and verse coach and costume designer. They’re created a winning production. The words zing into life, the actors capture the boys with all their young bravado and uncertainty, and Calarco’s adaptation gives you the right amount of traditional Shakespeare with a freshness that give you new insights into the meaning.

As for the gayness, it might deter stodgy teachers, but it works superbly.

                                                                                                                                                              WWW.ARTSLINK.CO.ZA

The Johannesburg press have been unanimous in their praise of ‘Family Secrets’, the dark comedy that starts Wednesday 3 July for a very limited season.

“Sophisticated, intelligent, stimulating comedy”-Leon van Nierop

“one mess you’re not going to want to miss”-Lucy O’Connell

“dit is die moeite werd en selfs in ‘n groot mate lewensvervullend”-Paul Boekkooi

 

Read here what the brilliant Alan Swerdlow had to say about the play when interviewed by Warren Robertson of The Citizen.

 

Dis opwindend om ’n opvoering in die opgeknapte Theatre On The Bay in Kampsbaai by te woon, want steeds is daar iets nuuts om raak te sien. Vir my was dit hierdie keer die besonderse matte.

Nadine Minnaar se stel sluit as’t ware aan by die sfeer en aantreklikheid van die teater self. Op die verhoog sien ons Monkswell Manor. Giles (Mark Sykes) en Mollie Ralston (Melissa Haiden)  het dit onlangs geërf en dit in ’n gastehuis omskep. Hier is alles afgerond, netjies en strelend vir die oog. In die spel kom humor ook meer na vore as wat ek uit vorige produksies kan onthou. Dis asof die gewelddadigheid onder sulke omstandighede juis sterker uitstaan.

Laatmiddag, terwyl dit sneeu, begin die Ralstons se eerste gaste opdaag. Twee van hulle word deur baie bekende Suid-Afrikaanse spelers vertolk. Michele Maxwell se mevrou Boyle laat haar dadelik geld met ’n kragtige stem en dominerende liggaamstaal. Sy is beslis aan beter gewoond en is byna met niks tevrede nie. Sien jy vir Malcolm Terrey onthou jy sy voortreflikheid in komedies. Hier is hy afgetrede majoor Metcalf. In talle bronne word die majoor as gemoedelik en vriendelik bestempel. Dan uit London Mark Wynter. Hy het sy loopbaan as popsanger begin. Sedertdien het hy al opgetree in bv 23 musiekblyspele (onder meer van Andrew Lloyd Webber) en 38 toneelstukke. Hier is hy die enigmatiese mnr Paravicini wat darem aan die ramp met sy motor in die sneeu ontkom het. Dié meneer in swart hou blykbaar daarvan om homself te grimeer. Regisseur Jonathan Tafler het ook al baie toneelprestasies behaal in Brittanje, in die besonder as radioregisseur. Vroeër vanjaar was hy einste mnr Paravicini in St Martin’s Theatre, die Mousetrap-tuiste in Londen.

Twee jonger gaste het opgedaag vóór dié meneer: Casewell (Shannyn Fourie) en Christopher Wren (Matthew Lotter). Casewell kom as nie baie vroulik voor nie en haar kleredrag “bevestig” dit. Fourie vertolk haar as “privaat”. Bronne beskryf Christopher (vernoem na die beroemde argitek in die hoop dat hy self een sou word!) as ’n warkop en selfs neuroties. Maar Lotter skep van die soort tonele waarin ’n mens skielik treffende insigte kry. Iets bekend, maar wat nou kommentaar lewer op ’n belangrike element in die drama. Hy sit na aan die gehoor wanneer hy sê: “You never really know what anyone is like – what they are really thinking. For instance, you don’t know what I’m thinking about now, do you?”

Dit sluit aan by die bevinding van speurdersersant Trotter (Aidan Scott). Hy kom ondervra almal in die gastehuis. Al die pad op ski’s. ’n Moord is elders gepleeg. Die polisie het ’n “wenk” gekry dat die vermoorde se dood gewreek kan word deur iemand hier in die gastehuis te vermoor. In die ondervraging word dit duidelik dat dit ’n versameling vreemdelinge is, en dat hulle mekaar geensins kan vertrou nie. Christie het die  moordgegewe gedeeltelik gebaseer op ’n werklike tragedie in 1945 toe ’n boer en sy vrou in Shropshire kinders wat by hulle in pleegsorg was grusaam mishandel het.

Aidan Scott vertolk speursersant Trotter as maar gewoon. Dit is opmerklik dat Christie nie ’n geskakeerdheid in sy karakter ingebou het soos bv in haar Hercule Poirot of Miss Marple nie. (Richard Attenborough het die rol vir die eerste keer vertolk.)

Waar het alles begin? In 1947 wil die BBC koningin Mary se verjaardag vier en sy kan ’n skrywer kies vir ’n hoorspel. Die uitverkorene is Agatha Christie. Sy skryf Three Blind Mice. Sy het ook ’n kortverhaal daarvan gemaak, maar dit mag nie in die Verenigde Koninkryk gepubliseer word voor die opvoer van The Mousetrap ophou nie. Dit is wel in die VSA gepubliseer.

Toe sy die vollengte verhoogstuk skryf, moet die titel verander word omdat Emile Littler dit reeds gebruik het. Skoonseun Anthony Hicks stel voor sy wend haar tot Shakespeare se Hamlet. In die derde bedryf, toneel twee laat Hamlet ’n toneelstuk opvoer. Koning Claudius vra wat die naam daarvan is. Hamlet: “The Mouse-trap. … This play is the image of  a murder done in Vienna.” Dit heet eintlik “The Murder of Gonzago”. In bedryf twee het Hamlet egter besluit dat die wellusteling moet boet: “The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” In Monkwell Manor word verskeie karakters se gewetens wakker gemaak. Booshede van die verlede word opgerakel.

Die allereerste opvoering van  The Mousetrap vind plaas op 6 Oktober 1952 in die Theatre Royal te Nottingham. Daarna word getoer met die stuk na verskeie teaters voordat dit op 25 November 1952 open in die Ambassador’s Theatre in Londen. Hier begin die legendariese opvoergeskiedenis. Dit is nie ’n geval van ’n toneelstuk wat oor jare, selfs eeue telkens herleef met ’n nuwe speelvak nie. Dit word deurlopend opgevoer. Op Saterdag  23 Maart 1974 verskuif alles en almal na die nabygeleë St Martin’s Theatre  en reeds op Maandag 25 Maart 1974  stap ’n gehoor in.

As verjaardaggeskenk het Christie die regte aan haar kleinseun Matthew Prichard geskenk. In die goeie teaterprogram kry ons sy herinneringe aan haar. Hy moes aandag gee aan ’n paar voorskrifte solank as wat The Mousetrap nog opgevoer word. Geen verfilming; net een ander produksie per jaar in Brittanje.

Van die stel van 1952 is daar nog net een ding steeds in gebruik: die horlosie op die kaggelrak.

The Mousetrap

Met: Melissa Haiden, Mark Sykes, Matthew Lotter, Michele Maxwell, Malcolm Terrey, Shannyn Fourie, Mark Wynter en Aidan Scott.

Regie: Jonathan Tafler

Stel ontwerp en geskep deur Nadine Minnaar. Kostuums deur Marcel Meyer.

Aangebied deur Pieter Toerien in ooreenkoms met sir Stephen Waley-Cohen in The Theatre On The Bay, Kampsbaai. Tot 19 Januarie 2019.

Pieter Toerien presents, by unprecedented public demand, 

the final victory lap tour of THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG!

This hilarious comedy returns to

Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from 7 December – 6 January, 2019

Directed by Alan Committie

 The crazy cast of eight features Daniel Janks, Nicole Franco, Sive Gubangxa, Louis Viljoen, Craig Jackson, Roberto Pombo and Russel Savadier and welcoming Antony Coleman to the mad-house!

 …plus the industry’s bravest stage crew, all aiming to keep the curtain up no matter what happens on the custom-made R500 000.00 set designed by Nigel Hook.

The plot revolves around an accident prone and completely inept Drama Society who receives an unexpected financial legacy.

The amateur group decides to put the windfall to good use. But when they attempt to put on a complicated 1920s murder mystery play, all hell breaks loose.

Everything that can possibly go wrong does, to hilarious effect, and audiences find the resulting chaos so funny that the entire theatre ends up in complete, total, happy disarray, night after night.

 Excellent comedy timing, expert verbal and physical funnies, it’s one of the best comedies to hit the stage for some time.  

 What the press have said: 

“The Play That Goes Wrong is hilariously bonkers, but be warned, rather than just tickling your funny bone, you might actually be at risk of fracturing it. Thank goodness for the armrests, probably the only thing that prevented certain audience members from actually rolling in the aisles. “ – What’s On In Jo’burg

“It’s all about good actors acting badly to make a good show. More than good – bloody brilliant. Do yourself a favour and catch this one. Like me, you may be bowled over …” – Weekend Special

 “I’d watch this lovely lunacy in again in an instant” –  Daily Maverick

The Play That Goes Wrong is an excellent example of how top-notch directing, acting, lighting, costuming, music and sets can keep an audience laughing for two hours” – The Cape Times

Tickets available from https://online.computicket.com/web/event/the_play_that_goes_wrong/1250343226/0/89265352

 R100 – R240 in Johannesburg

Group bookings:

geraldine@montetheatre.co.za / (011) 511-1988

Theatre on the bay is celebrating it’s newly renovated splendour in style with a production that will be remembered long after the end of it’s run: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a stellar piece of entertainment on all counts-performances both lead and cameo, staging, direction and content.

Based on Mark Haddon’s intriguing novel of the same name, this two-act play traces the life-affirming ordeal of Christopher, and adolescent boy afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome, but endowed with terrifying brilliance in theoretical disciplines like mathematics and physics.

Not the sort of material one would imagine readily adaptable to the stage, but dramatist Simon Stephens has successfully translated all the vitality and inner drama of the youth’s experience with a sensitivity akin to genius, and the result is stunning theatre.

Tina Driedijk’s austere set evokes the uncompromising nature of mathematical abstraction , but at the same time fulfils all the purely physical requirements of the cast, who in their turn become the props of the action.

An outstanding instance of this is the sequence where Christopher abandons himself to the fantasy of astral adventure and is borne aloft in communion with the night sky which he finds so much more conducive to joy than interaction with his fellow humans.

Complementing this inspired staging is Gareth Hewitt Williams’s lighting design , key to the work’s theme, and choice soundscapes devised by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder. The nightmare journey undertaken by Christopher to London is a visual and aural tour de force.

As a counterbalance to the potentially arid mathematical element of this play, there is also no lack of humour, the quietly sardonic variety that comes from politically incorrect or outrageous statements uttered in all sincerity by a naive young person, full of uncompromising honesty and logic.

Then there is the warm and fuzzy feeling generated by the presence on stage of animals, dead and alive….something for everyone.

To cap it all, there is a coda delivered by Brummer which is worthy in itself of recognition for sheer mental stamina-as if what has preceded were not enough to make this an unforgettable show.

MACBETH is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy, one of his shortest plays and one of his most unremittingly gruesome creations. MACBETH examines how dreams become nightmares when a man releases fear into his world. (‘Notes on this production’-from the program on sale in the foyer)

This production by Abrahamse and Meyer, presented by a company of 6 male actors, demonstrates the brilliance of the writing of a playwriter of centuries ago, which resonates even today. Demonstrating how far we’ve come and how little we’ve learnt in 400 years.

The press has unanimously raved about this production, calling it “passionate and chilling” and “..not an easy watch, but…a rewarding one!”

Read the full reviews here:

Lesley Stones-ARTSLINK

Jenny de Klerk-Saturday Star

Gayle Edmunds-Channel 24

This production of MACBETH has been offered to schools as an aide to learners studying the play this year. Performances during the week are: Wednesday and Thursday @11am and 3pm; Friday @3pm.

Saturday @4pm and 8pm and Sunday @3pm are the usual weekend performances.

There are NO evening performances during the week.

For school bookings contact Geraldine@montetheatre.co.za or 011 511 1988

‘Musical theatre isn’t an art form. It’s 14 art forms smashed together. And when they coalesce in exactly the right way, I believe it is more powerful than pretty much everything.’ – Lin-Manual Miranda

These words, by one of the genius’s of Musical Theatre of the 21st century, isn’t referring to Avenue Q, but in my opinion, most definitely could have been.

Avenue Q is a most surprisingly fresh, clever and brilliant on so many levels musical that anyone who loves theatre should see! Young thespians not only sing and dance and act but they now also manipulate puppets, bringing them to life in the most extraordinary way. It’s a remarkable piece of theatre that deserves to be supported.

The press have raved unanimously. Here is what they have to say:

 

Mark Banks has paid his dues. He’s part of our psyche and as South African as Mrs Balls and Biltong so maybe through the years he’s got a little crazy and who would blame him?

In his latest show now on in the Studio Theatre, it’s just Mark visiting you, his shrink, because we all need to be able to tell someone our crazy!

It’s brave, stripped down, edgy and brilliant. Confessional, vulnerable and deeply funny. And he doesn’t leave the couch.

Still laughing!  SHARMINI BROOKES

Paul du Toit is Hedwig

VR Theatrical have once again come up with a show that we would not necessarily ever have seen in this country. With their aim and goal to make theatre that resonates with a new generation, that challenges and pushes boundaries but also entertains, they give us HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, now on at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre until April 1st.

It’s not your usual fare, but those willing to give it a try will be all the better for doing it.

Here is what press have had to say:

No boxes, No labels, No judgment!

Dark, Funny and Harrowing! STAGE AND SCREEN

Aggressive and affecting; brazen and bruising. Go on! BRUCE DENNILL

It Rocks! PETER FELDMAN

Bold and Ballsy! LESLEY STONES

 

SHORT SYNOPSIS

Triple Fringe First-winner Andrew Buckland stars as Paul, husband to Sara (performed by Jennifer Steyn), who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She is compulsive, alive and hates women who know how to make cupcakes. Paul is on a mission to find a cure for her afflictions and befriends and consults with Professor James (played by Mncedisi Shabangu) who quietly tries to save him from the inconvenience of his wings.

Leading South African writer and director Lara Foot’s latest play is a powerful and poignant drama about friendship, dysfunction, addiction and angels. It makes for compelling viewing with burning contemporary themes such as bi-polar disorder and compulsion and its devastating effect on the family. Set in a landscape of memory and dreams this play cuts close to the bone for anyone who has suffered mental illness themselves, or has lived with someone who is afflicted. Earlier this year it won the prestigious 2017 Fleur du Cap Best director, actor and actress awards.

PRESS RELEASE

Since its premiere in 2016 Lara Foot’s award-winning latest play, The Inconvenience of Wings, has received sold-out success in South Africa at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town and the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.

In 2017 the play received the coveted Fleur du Cap awards for Best Director (Foot), Best Actor (Andrew Buckland) and Best Actress (Jennifer Steyn).

Foot, the 2016 National Arts Festival Featured Artist and a former Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre winner, has assembled a stellar cast and creative team comprising Jennifer Steyn, Andrew Buckland and Mncedisi Shabangu.

Set in a landscape of memory and dreams, The Inconvenience of Wings, tackles the issues of friendship, dysfunction, addiction and angels. Sara (Steyn) has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder; she is compulsive, alive and hates women who know how to make cupcakes. Paul (Buckland), her husband, is on a mission to find a cure for her afflictions and Professor James (Shabangu) quietly tries to save Paul from the inconvenience of his wings.

The play is, at its heart, a love story, which make for compelling viewing with burning contemporary themes such as bi-polar disorder and compulsion and its devastating effect on the family. It cuts close to the bone for anyone who has suffered mental illness themselves, or has lived with someone who is afflicted.

The media and audiences raved about the production. John Maytham from Cape Talk gave it a glowing thumbs up, saying, “If there is a better piece of theatre at the Festival, please lead me to it … It is a piece that no serious theatre lover should miss … Be there, and tot up the number of awards for which it will be nominated, most of which it will win. It’s that good.” Steve Kretzmann from Critter was equally encouraging referring to it as “… masterful direction” and “… the casts’ acutely magnificent performance … an engrossing, consummate performance… ”

Further praise came from Tony Jackman for the Daily Maverick who said, “Again, I take my hat off to Foot. She gets it, she truly, deeply, gets it across in this most excellent play … once you get into the meat of the story it grips you and takes you all the way.” Mariana Malan from Die Burger called it “… amazing theatre” and Dylan Stewart for Cue Media wrote, “This world premiere is another badge of honour for Foot. It confirms her reputation as a gifted playwright who makes unapologetic theatre with global import.”

This powerful and poignant new drama was inspired by author Abraham J Twerski`s book Addictive Thinking that examines the notion of compulsion, addiction, denial and abuse of self as well as conversations on bipolar disorder that Foot had with celebrated psychiatrist Dr Sean Baumann. It was further stirred by her father who has suffered from dementia for more than a decade.

Lara is the CEO and artistic director of the Baxter Theatre Centre and a former Rolex protégé to Sir Peter Hall in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. She has become known and respected for her own hard-hitting plays, which sensitively and creatively, tackle social issues in South Africa and for which she has won several awards.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION

The Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town, in association with Assembly Festival and Riverside Studios, present

THE INCONVENIENCE OF WINGS

Written and directed by: Lara Foot

Cast:

  • Sara Jennifer Steyn
  • Paul Andrew Buckland
  • Professor James Mncedisi Shabangu

Set designer: Patrick Curtis

Lighting designer: Mannie Manim

Composer/ sound designer: Philip Miller

Choreographer: Grant van Ster

Costume designer: Birrie le Roux

Dialogue coach: Lesley Nott Manim

Scene titles designer: Sanjin Muftic

First performed at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

Duration: 80 minutes, no interval

Age restriction: 16 (Nudity, Language)

WHAT THE EDINBURGH MEDIA SAID

***** “a beautifully modulated work … should not be missed” – British Theatre Guide

 

***** “Jennifer Steyn … delivers an unforgettable performance” – British Theatre Guide

 

***** “magnificent piece of work” – Edinburgh Guide

 

*****“Through the virtuosity of the writer and the mastery of the performers, this production cannot go unwatched … Steyn, Buckland and Shabangu are breathtaking.” – Edinburgh Guide

 

***** “Anyone who has any connection with the above affairs will feel a strong affiliation to this magnificent piece of work.” – Edinburgh Guide

 

**** “… Steyn’s performance must be one of the finest of The Fringe, offering tremendous, desperate insight into the toll mental illness takes not only on its victims, but also on those who love them and whom they love in return.’ – The Scotsman

 

**** “utterly involving piece.” – The Wee Review

 

**** “it’s hard to imagine anyone leaving the auditorium without some strings of emotion, such is the impact and import of this piece.” – The Wee Review

 

“It’s no surprise that the play earned the triple gongs of Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress at the 2017 Fleur du Cap theatre awards”

 

**** “Taking a fearless look at mental illness.” – Ed Fest Magazine

 

**** “Lara Foot has created a powerful narrative that is honest in its portrayal yet creative in its approach, making for excellent storytelling” – Ed Fest Magazine

 

**** “This story is incredibly significant for those who have or know someone who suffers from mental illness.” Ed Fest Magazine

 

**** Writer and director, Lara Foot has created a powerful narrative that is honest in its portrayal yet creative in its approach, making for excellent storytelling.” Ed Fest Magazine

 

WHAT THE SOUTH AFRICAN MEDIA HAVE SAID

If there is a better piece of theatre at the Festival, please lead me to it … It is a piece that no serious theatre lover should miss … Be there, and tot up the number of awards for which it will be nominated, most of which it will win. It’s that good.” – John Maytham, Cape Talk

 

Writer-director Lara Foot’s The Inconvenience of Wings is a mature master work whose literary heft and dramatic gravitas places her in the same league as contemporary South African dramatists the calibre of Athol Fugard, Paul Slabolepszy and Mike van Graan.

 

In the early 21st Century this window into dementia and bi-polar disorder, embedded in the tragi-comedy of life, realised with conceptual clarity and perceptive veracity, has a universal resonance and relevance. As important as this challenging text is it would be difficult to imagine this delicately directed, finely written, anatomy of the human condition brought to life – totally embodied – without the visceral physicality, naked emotional honesty and searing integrity of Andrew Buckland as Paul, Jennifer Steyn as his wife Sarah and Mncedisi Shabangu’s authoritative Prof James, the psychiatrist.  – Adrienne Sichel The Ar(t) chive , Wits School of Arts, Johannesburg

 

“… masterful direction … the casts’ acutely magnificent performance … the actors who provided an engrossing, consumate performance… ” – Steve Kretzmann, Critter

 

“… a precious, honest, witty, well-informed, raw, pure piece of South African theatre.” – Thola Antanamu, WhatsoninCapeTown

 

“The Inconvenience of Wings a Triumph for Lara Foot … sophisticated and literate … richly textured …” – David Fick, broadwayworld.com

 

“Jennifer Steyn, Andrew Buckland and Mncedisi Shabangu all deliver meaningful work in this production under the playwright’s own skilfully shaped direction of this piece.” – David Fick, broadwayworld.com

 

“This play belies its genre with moments of symbolism and seduce us to contemplate situations and emotions from which many of us are thankfully removed, the intricacy and delicacy of which is strengthened to invulnerable proportions thanks to the vitality of its portrayal.” – Steve Kretzmann, Critter

 

“… together with Karoo Moose and Tshepang, The Inconvenience of Wings will take pride of place alongside these iconic works in the definitive local theatrical canon …” Tracey Saunders, Cape Times

 

“A discordant note I could not discern in this play, the realism of which was echoed in the craftsmanship of the appropriately raked box set that placed all the action in an interior setting which none of the characters ever exited. The way this is played out is a further masterstroke of direction, the character absent from dialogue fading into the dark grey walls, the colour of which further emphasised the oppression of the monotonous landscape of emotion Sara was expected to accept being forced into.” – Steve Kretzmann, Critter

 

“This world premiere is another badge of honour for Foot. It confirms her reputation as a gifted playwright who makes unapologetic theatre with global import.” – Dylan Stewart, Cue Media

 

“Again, I take my hat off to Foot. She gets it, she truly, deeply, gets it across in this most excellent play … once you get into the meat of the story it grips you and takes you all the way.” – Tony Jackman, Daily Maverick

 

“… amazing theatre” – Mariana Malan, Die Burger

 

“To watch the breakdown is not easy. The saving factor is there is also tenderness, humour and something that borders on inspiration that unfolds before your eyes. – Mariana Malan, Die Burger

 

“The Inconvenience of Wings keeps you well-grounded by hypnotically luring you into an almost meditative state as you experience the characters take flight…” – Barbara Loots, Scene It

 

“Foot has woven together an emotive, beautifully delicate production …”- Barbara Loots, Scene It

 

“It’s a powerful, fascinating and frightening play that stuns in both senses of the word.” – Lesley Stones, Artslink

 

LARA FOOT BIOGRAPHY

Lara Foot is a multi-award-winning playwright, director and producer. She is the CEO and artistic director of the Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town; a former Rolex protégé to Sir Peter Hall in the prestigious Rolex Mentor and Protégé programme as well as a Sundance Fellow.

She is also executive producer of (amongst others), the hit productions Mies Julie and The Fall which have both received international acclaim.

Lara completed her BA (Hons) degree at Wits University in 1989 and in 2007 attained her Master’s degree at the University of Cape Town. In 2005 she became the Resident Director and Dramaturge at the Baxter Theatre Centre – a post which she held until 2007. In January 2010 she became the first female to be appointed as CEO and Artistic Director of the Baxter.

With a passion for the development of new indigenous work, young writers and directors, she has put most of her energy into helping playwrights and theatre-makers realise their work, having nurtured several dozen new South African plays to their first staging. She has directed over 50 professional productions, 38 of which have been new South African plays.

Since heading up the Baxter Theatre Centre she has, together with a dynamic team, transformed the theatre’s development programme – the Zabalaza Theatre Festival – to become recognised and respected as one of the most vital and important platforms of its kind in South Africa. As a former Rolex protégé, she hosted a unique cultural gathering at the Baxter with renowned Mentors William Kentridge, Wole Soyinka and Peter Sellars, alongside seven protégés.

Lara worked at The Market Theatre under the mentorship of Barney Simon and in 1996 became Resident Director and from 1998 to 2000 she was the Associate Artistic Director. She wrote and co-directed (with Gerhard Marx) the interdisciplinary short film And There in the Dust, which won five international awards and two Golden Horn awards and was selected to be part of the Sundance Film Writer’s Lab in 2007 and the Sundance Film Director’s Lab in 2008.

In 2016 she was the Featured Artist at the 43rd National Arts Festival, leading the charge on the Main programme which is made up of 80% of work written, directed, curated or headlined by women. This, two decades after she was selected as the Standard Bank Young Artist for Drama.

With a host of South African theatre accolades to her name, her own hard-hitting plays tackle social issues in South Africa and these have earned her great respect and recognition locally and internationally.

Tshepang, Hear And Now, Reach, Karoo Moose, Solomon and Marion (all published by Oberon Books), Fishers of Hope and The Inconvenience of Wings are just a few of her plays which have won multiple awards and that have toured internationally with great success.

Fishers of Hope scooped four awards at the Naledi Theatre Awards in Johannesburg, including the coveted Best Production of a Play accolade. Earlier this year her latest play, The Inconvenience of Wings, earned her the Best Director honour, along with the Best Actress (Jenifer Steyn) and Best Actor (Andrew Buckland) nods at the 2017 Fleur du Cap awards. She also clinched three awards (Best Director, Best Production of a Play and Best Actress (Chuma Sopotela), for her play Karoo Moose at the 2017 Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (the largest Afrikaans Festival in South Africa.

In August 2017 she achieved the rare distinction of taking six Baxter Theatre Centre productions to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as executive producer of the season in a programme which included three of her own productions.