Posts Tagged ‘rob murray’

Nat Ramabulana and Janna Ramos Violante perform in The Imagined Land at Vicky’s, Grahamstown, 10 July 2015, at the 2015 National Arts Festival. The Imagined Land is a new play by acclaimed writer Craig Higginson in which a famous Zimbabwean novelist, modelled on Nadine Gordimer and Doris Lessing, is confronted by her biographer with difficult memories from her past. Photo: CuePix / Jane Berg.

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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The road is busy. Cars roar past us. Across from the NGK Hall on Hill Street, director Rob Murray speaks softly, drawing imaginary lines on the table.

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Rob Murray and his splendidly inventive Ubom! team must have thrown around quite a few titles before settling on Hoss (as in ‘horse’ and a character in the vintage TV show Bonanza), a name that doesn’t quite do justice to this gleeful, heartfelt graphic novel of a production, complete with avenging angel and his sexy, deadly female sidekick.

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It’s a build-up and break-down business, up one moment and down the next, and emergency rebuilds become routine. This is the changing world of set design, where work and effort disappear into thin air in a matter of minutes. And when it comes to set design, some of this year’s Festival productions are going all the way.

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Freak shows ended about 50 years ago, due to public outcry against the display of people with physical deformities and abnormalities. However, as the full house for the opening of Kardiãvale showed, people are still fascinated by the aberrant and unusual.

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If you ever wanted proof that the boogieman really does exist, just go and see Quack! It’s the stuff nightmares are made of. Gothic, downbeat and seriously creepy, this show should ideally be seen at the witching hour by all ghoulishly inclined types who have ingested some illegal mind-altering substance.

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