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Friday, January 27, 2012


The Durban University of Technology (DUT) will treat theatregoers to a double bill of Meet Bro Six-Two and The Milk Factory today (January 27) at 14h00 at the Courtyard Theatre. Both productions were seen at the Musho! Festival earlier this month.

Written and directed by DUT drama graduate Samson Mlambo, Meet Bro Six-Two is a one man show featuring Wiseman Mncube who completed his DUT Drama Studies final year in 2011. Mncube brings the character to life with extraordinary skill. He recently received one of the most sought-after awards at the 2012 Musho Festival when he walked away with Best Actor/Performer. Further kudos was accorded in the standing ovation his performance elicited from the audience. The play also received an Audience Award at the festival. Meet Bro Six-Two draws attention to unemployment, an underlying cause of the high crime rate in the country. It tracks the life of Bro Six-Two, his experiences and adversities and how he resorts to crime to make ends meet. Bro Six-Two’s story symbolizes the everyday issues facing South African youth. It also reminds the audience of one crucial element – empathy.

The Milk Factory, produced by DUT’s Drama Department in conjunction with Emuhle All Artists is a 25-minute African play made especially for a South African audience. The title was adopted from a script by Simphiwe Vililahle submitted to the director and Emuhle All Artists owner, Bongani R. Baai. The script evolved a new plot, new characters, new action, new themes, new sets and costumes, new scripting mechanisms and new audiovisual considerations by Baai and Genbia Hyla. In adherence to the festival’s criteria the entire story is told through two actors, Siyamthanda Mdluli and Mzamo Mkhombe.

Co-director and Drama Studies Department HOD, Professor Deborah Lutge said this was an exciting ‘work in progress’. The themes of accountable leadership, the question of integrity that surrounds authority, and the notion of retaining tradition were poignant and attracted her to work within the play. The shift from human actors to masks and rod-puppets was challenging, however it gave diversity to the techniques incorporated in the story.

The story unfolds in a village setting. The intermarriage of a Chikwah king and a Gqukhwe Queen leads to a power struggle over a milk factory and consequently the ownership of cattle is questioned and the blame of the theft is shifted to the Rharhambo arch enemy whom the audience never meets.

“The implications have real political connotations,” explained Lutge. “AmaRharhambo represent the colonials, the Sangoma represents tradition and Indlovukazi represents the individual. AmaChikwah and amaGqukhwe represent the unification that led to independence as well as the schisms created by greed, while the masks represent the voiceless.”

The project forms part of a DUT Drama Studies Community outreach project in partnership with the Twist Theatre Development Project, of which Lutge is a board member. The Twist initiative is aimed at developing talent in KwaZulu-Natal communities and attempts to straddle the artistic divide between communities, academics and industry practitioners.

The double bill takes place today (January 27) at 14h00 at the Courtyard Theatre on DUT Steve Biko campus in Mansfield Road. More information from Lebo on 031 373 2194.