Drama Up close and personal

Up close and personal

Mob Feel is at once raw and polished. Written and directed by Kline Smith and based on Can Themba’s Mob Passion, it tells the tragic love story of Linga and Mapula, and their attempt to overcome an old ethnic rivalry stained with prejudice, violence and pain.

Mpilo Nzimande and TQ Zondi perform the student theatre production Mob Feel at the National Arts Festival. The piece is modelled after Can Themba’s Mob Passion and mixes storytelling techniques with physical theatre.:Cuepix/Daniel Hollick

This is Johannesburg in the 1950s and gang violence fuelled by mob mentality is revealed through superb performances by Mercio Langa, Mpilo Nzimande, Pertunia Msani and TQ Zondi of Blackout Productions.

Staging the play in one of the smallest venues in the bowels of The Monument creates an extremely intimate environment, with the actors performing face to face with individuals in the audience.

There are no elaborate props, backgrounds, lighting, costumes and frills.

Mob Feel is simply four people with a guitar, a drum and an abundance of talent.

The synchronisation of the narration, facial expressions, body movement, live music and singing is flawless.

It is so good that, as impossible as it might be, one begins to wonder if the four performers are controlled by one mind during the performance.

The show ends with Msani’s piercing screams that suffocate the small room, silenced by the darkness that follows.

A mob feel has affected the audience; their applause takes over.

Smith won the award for Most Promising Writer and Best Director at the 2012 NAF Student Theatre Festival, as well as the 2013 Musho! Fringe Festival Award.


Carissa Govendor

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