Piece of unique storytelling

23 Jul 2012 in Uncategorised
Related Shows: Little Foot

Review - Piece of unique storytelling

The play dramatises the coming together of our most primal identities, drawing on Greek and SA mythology, to create a powerful portrayal of modern relationships Theplay Little Foot was first ti commissioned by the Nation- fi al Theatre in London, UK, for the h 2012 Connections Festival. Craig h Higginson is one of 10 writers b from around the world participating in this prestigious festival, and e Little Foot is to be performed at a the National Theatre prior to the u 2012 Olympics. The National Theatre has allowed n the Market Theatre, in association s with the Grahamstown Festival, to put together a South African pro- a duction of their own, a production h that will be an extended version of n the original play. The production will be presented at the Market’s Main Theatre be- c tween 13 July and 19 August. This powerful and poetic new c South African play is situated on a farm in the Cradle of Humankind, ii where much of the world’s pre- d human remains have been found. s It takes the audience down into the c vast network of caves where the IA three-million-year-old hominin Little Foot was discovered. Out of sheer coincidence, the production will be released at the same time that Little Foot’s remains will finally be freed from the rock. It has taken 13 years to extract the hominin’s calcified bones, using brushes and dentists’ drills. In Higginson’s play, we experience the caves through the eyes of a group of young South African university students; who went to school together and are having a reunion on New Year’s Eve, a year since they last saw each other. One of them (Wizard) brings along a new girlfriend from England (Rebecca). He wants her to meet his oldest friends, not suspecting that a terrible trap has been set for him. What starts as a practical joke soon leads to a series of events that appear to have tragic consequences. As the students delve deeper into the caves; and we travel ever deeper into their psyches and their shared histories; a Chorus of ancient hominins steps through the walls of the caves. The play finally dramatises the coming together of our most prima! and contemporary identities Little Foot draws on Ancient Greek and South African mythology, to create a powerful portrayal of modern relationships. Not only does the audience come to a deeper understanding of their common ancestry, but the play powerfully illustrates how the best and the worst of us has its roots in the ancient past, and how these two capacities are carried through into our contemporary democracy. Since we first learned to control fire, light has been used to satisfy our best and our worst impulses as a species. It is what we do with the light handed down to us that we define ourselves. The theatre; which provides a darkened space into which we introduce light for the telling of our stories, is the perfect place to explore these themes and concepts. For this production, writer Craig Higginson and director Malcolm Purkey are collaborating with Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year award-winner Neil Coppen to create a multi-media event that will include a composer, yideographer, sound designer, sculptor, editor, choreographer, as well as a lighting, costume and set designer. Huge screens will be used to create different spaces and textured surfaces, as well as being used for video projections and shadow puppetry. The Chorus will be created using masks, sculpture and projection. In both content and form, this promises to be a unique piece of storytelling that will redefine the boundaries of contemporary South African theatre. Previous collaborations between writer Craig Higginson and director Malcolm Purkey include the internationally acclaimed plays Dream of the Dog and The Girl in the Yellow Dress — both originally produced by the Market Theatre. The cast includes acclaimed performers like Nicol Horley, Jenna Dunster, Phumzile Sithole, Khayelihle Gurnede, Glen Biderman-Pam and Mlondolozi Zondi. The chorus is by Ky la Davis, Jaque Da Silva, Sibulele Gcilitshana, Peter Langa and Sello Sebotsane For more information about the presentation call 011 832 1641. SIbulele Gcilitshana Jenne Dunster


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