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I n between showings of his fast selling out adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, Cue managed to grab director and 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre Christiaan Olwagen for a quick chat and a photoshoot. Olwagen made his name at Festival directing the self-described appropriation Woza Andries? in 2010.
Three days ago, while reaching for a suitcase to pack for his Grahamstown trip, Ray Phiri, the grand old man of mbaqanga music, falls off a chair and breaks three ribs.
Kimon de Greef Cue specialist writer took over the Monument on Saturday night and knocked this festival’s lights out. What a show! From before she walked on (fifteen minutes late, but quite honestly who cares) people were on their feet. Many remained that way for the entire performance. Afterwards she emerged from the wings. Fans mobbed her for hugs and photographs. She was weeping; they were weeping. And then, just moments later, she was gone.
It took seven minutes for Oliver Mtukudzi and his band to get on stage. It took less than three for him to have me in tears. The Zimbabwean-born musician is an emcee, adjudicating the dance electric – and last night, in front of a packed crowd at DSG Hall, he gave the performance of a lifetime.
Christian Olwagen’s production of Ibsen’s enduring drama, A Doll’s House, is driven by a clear directorial vision and performed by a powerful cast.
“All criticism is a form of autobiography,” said Oscar Wilde, according to the programme note. Gulp! Playwright and novelist Craig Higginson at his best is a beautiful writer, and he’s at his best in The Imagined Land, promoted as “a new state of the nation play”.
However you look at it, 2015 has been a curious year so far. Not long after the Red Berets staged their version of Karate Kid in Parliament, an understudy to political activist Andile Lili splashed poo on a triumphalist bronze metaphor that, up until recently, lazed on a plinth at an eminent university.
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