Well, we were early for Monologues in 2nd Gear – a Port Elizabeth production at the Kingswood Theatre. It would be unfair of me to say that the production stayed in second gear – each actor penned his or her own monologue and some of them certainly did reach 4th.
After the non cerebral fare from Rob van Vuuren at 5:00 pm we went straight into thinking man’s performance art at 8:30 pm and I don’t think that we represented the target audience.
All the actors/dancers were confident in delivery and certainly commanded stage presence in an easy manner. Our failing was that our understanding of Xhosa is slow at best and we spent most of the time interpreting meanings through movement, inflection, stored knowledge and a smattering of kitchen Xhosa.
Sad, as I am sure we missed some great points that were made.
For me the most stirring monologue was the one by Jocelyn Scholtz who reflected on a clash of cultures leading to physical beatings by her husband, gang rape, misunderstandings, betrayal, the loss of love and murder. A nice touch was the localising of the relationship in Port Elizabeth.
The opening piece by Olwethu Mdala explored animal fears through children’s theatre – using a mouse in a Somali shop as her character. I didn’t get the mouse wanting to become a hamster to be adopted by a white person by eating a lot of cheese.
The silver spoon was replaced with plastic spoons by Xabiso Zweni, whose piece questioned the delivery of freedom promises amidst widespread poverty. Powerful images were seen in the representation of people eating from the trough, who then became more selfish. Just one historical fact niggled me – in the days prior to 1994 people were taken to Louis le Grange police station to be tortured and NOT the Mount Road police station as said in the dialogue.
Xolisa Ngubelanga presented the world as seen by a lonely and nonchalant, yet wishful security guard.
Nomfundo Mgoqi, portrayed the drug-infested lures of the City of Gold. Her portrayal of the old Gogo was spot on and the antics of Pantsula dancer, Siyabonga Zetu added to the vibrant colour of this piece.
Nobesuthu Rayi piece about societal naivety and vengeance veiled under witch-hunting and vicious attacks on innocent women via mob-justice didn’t quite gel with me.
Highly recommended for people cleverer than I – which is, well, most of our country.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2013/07/monologues-in-2nd-gear/