What's On in Gauteng - July 14 to July 22Jennifer de Klerk
Jennifer de Klerk: The Market Theatre is delving into the past with two shows this week.
The dance drama piece !Aïa - From Cave to Sky by the Théâtre Taliipot has been running this week, finishing on Sunday. It explores our relationship with nature and the past, based on the heritage of the San. In the second venue Woza Albert! is in its final week before leaving for Edinburgh and London.
Then in the main theatre the new South African play, Little Foot, by Craig Higginson opened on Friday fresh from the National Arts Festival. It was originally commissioned by the National Theatre in London for the 2012 Connections Festival.
Set on a farm in the Cradle of Humankind, it follows a group of university students into the network of caves where the 30-million-year old hominin Little Foot was discovered. This multi-media production apparently uses Greek theatre, philosophy, palaeontology and South African mythology to create a powerful portrayal of modern relationships. I hear the set by Neil Coppen is awesome.
Another Festival piece coming our way is Red, with Michael and Jeremy Richard, which opens at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square on Wednesday. This Tony Award-winning play explores the creative process and inner conflict of famous American artist Mark Rothko. It is presented by the Durban company KickstArt, which brought us Cabaret.
This stunning musical is, of course, still running at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre until August. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour.
In the Studio at Montecasino, Jonathan Roxmouth, better known as the Phantom of the Opera, is swirling through the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in swashbuckling style in his one-man show Topsy Turvy. He does the women too – three at once.
On the Afrikaans front Tobie Cronje and Hannes Muller are getting mixed up and misunderstood in My Vrou se Man se Vrou at the Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace and in the State Theatre in Pretoria the powerful and poignant Ons Vir Jou, the story of the Boer War, has returned with musical showstoppers like De La Rey.
The Miagi Youth Orchestra is off to tour Europe and will be showcasing their programme at the Linder Auditorium on Sunday at 3.30pm.
Then, on Thursday, the new combined South African Ballet Theatre and Mzansi Productions company – no name yet to my knowledge - is launching their first production, Le Corsaire, in its South African debut.
This 19th century classical ballet, with 100 dancers, is a tale of pirates, pashas, harems and shipwrecks … it should be sumptuous. It’s a short run to the end of the month.
For the children, The Gingerbread Man 2 at the People’s Theatre and the musical Aladdin Jr at the National Children’s Theatre are still running this week.
On the deeper side, there is the Wits production The Pillowman, which is described as a
seriously disturbing dark comedy. Enjoy
Jennifer de Klerk is editor of Artslink.co.za. For more information on these shows and other events nationwide see www.artslink.co.za