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Monday, January 12, 2009


Play from Port Elizabeth epitomises the raison d’être of the Musho Festival. (Review by Maurice Kort)

The Musho Festival has spread its wings and brought a play from Port Elizabeth, a two-hander performed by Xolani Ngesi and Mongezi Ncwadi, who also wrote the play, with mentoring from Winston Ntshona and Maurice Podbrey. This epitomises the raison d’être of the Musho Festival, bringing ground-breaking new plays and actors to the fore.

The two actors portray Temba and Chris, with Temba briefly appearing as the two vastly-different Ntombolo and Tandeka, the two sisters of Chris. As the story unfolds, it emerges that Chris suffered severely under the apartheid regime, his father having been burnt alive and his mother never recovering from the tragedy. This has affected Ntombolo who drowns her sorrows in alcohol. Temba is infinitely more balanced and is being courted by Temba and therein is the drama and the insurmountable problems. Temba’s father was implicated in the death of Chris's father and Temba's uncle had not assisted when help had been required by Chris's mother.

Chris is adamantly unforgiving, resulting in much conflict and there are further reasons for his pain. The two perform their roles extremely convincingly and the result is great theatre. This is a novel take on the sins of the past carrying over into the present with events that happened during the apartheid era standing in the way of romance and threatening to break a family apart. The play is sensitively directed by Zwai Mgijima.

Both performances of It's Not Me were at the Catalina Theatre over the weekend, on January 10 at 20h00 and January 11 at 18h00. – Maurice Kort