The National Arts Festival pretty much reflects the theatre scene as a whole. There is still not enough black theatre, and there are not enough black audience members. It’s largely a matter of economics but it’s also related to artistic will.
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Three Blind Mice, Rob van Vuuren’s flagship play, opened to a full house at the Rhodes Theatre on Monday night. The show is one of the 2015 Festival’s most anticipated productions, with every show selling out.
Albert Pretorius wrote and performs in Fatal, a one-man show about Jason, a troubled school teacher who is throwing a surprise party for his girlfriend, Lucy. He treats the audience as guests at the party, offering beers and Cheese Curls as they enter. As the play opens, Jason entertains his guests while waiting for the birthday girl to arrive.
You might dismiss the children’s story of The Three Little Pigs as a benign parable told to children about making solid plans for rainy days – or for days when wolves abound. James Cairns, Rob van Vuuren and Albert Pretorius, under the direction of Tara Notcutt, brilliantly disabuse you of that from the outset of this innovative and fierce play. Don’t bring the littlies – this is no fairy tale.
Albert Pretorius, who delivers a superlative performance as the solo performer in Waiting for this God ou, explains the relevance of Brian Notcutt’s Beckett adaptation to a South African audience. Pretorius also stars in The Three Little Pigs this year, and was a part of the 2013 performance of Thom Pain (based on nothing), which won a Standard Bank Ovation award.
Albert Pretorius is an extraordinary performer.In the space of just over an hour, this otherwise nondescript middle-aged man with a sparse beard will take you around hairpin turns in the life of his character, Brandon de Wet, leading you to a great big cul-de-sac from which there is no return or way out.Waiting for this God ou will take you places where few productions have the temerity or the skill to reach.
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