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Hayani

07 Sep 2012 - 09 Sep 2012

Venue: The Ramolao Makhene Theatre
Duration: 70 minutes, no interval
Age Restriction: 13

Hayani (Venda for home) poignantly explores the idea of home and identity for two young men growing up in the transitional years of South Africa.
In the film Garden State, Zach Braff’s character explains home as a rite of passage where a bunch of strangers are searching for the same imaginary place. But for Atandwa and Nat, “home is where the heart rests”.
And even before the play starts, the painting of each’s family and home in the background acts as a fallopian tube that connects you to their foundation. Instantly recognisable is Atandwa’s dad, John Kani, on the one side and a man whose eyes peek right into your soul is on the other (and that would be Nat’s father).
The two represent a new generation of voices that will go a long way in shaping the next chapter of South African storytelling and theatre-making.
This is the generation born from migrant workers, that grew up in the end phase of apartheid; the one belonging to the very few black students that infiltrated multi-racial schools in the early 1990s and there’s a great deal for audiences to relate to.
Nat and Atandwa tell their own personal stories with nuanced humour and profound sincerity, revealing the complexities of becoming men against the backdrop of a changing South Africa. Their delivery is so inspired that it seems they’re not attempting to act. And perhaps here the director’s intuitive direction should be credited. It’s as if the two actors pour themselves into spaces and times that bring an organic performance out of them. Even when they gender hop from playing their mothers, fathers, siblings, themselves and their friends, it’s all soulful. There’s a lot of colour and nostalgia in their vivid anecdotes branching from Port Elizabeth, Joburg and Polokwane. And the narration, expanded by the sensible and acoustic music in the background, also gets your senses working. This is unassuming but powerful theatre. The production is presented by the Drama For Life (DFL) Company Laboratory and the Goethe Institut and it made its debut at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2009. The new and intimate space of the Market Theatre Lab only amplifies the emotion of the show.

Show times: Fri & Sat @ 18h30 and Sun @15h00

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