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Sunday, June 23, 2013


The Durban University of Technology’s Department of Drama & Production Studies in conjunction with the Grahamstown National Arts Festival is to present Sarcophagus by Popi Qwabe and Genbia Hyla.

To be performed at this year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, it is directed by Buhle Mazibuko with original music composed by Aphiwe Namba.

The tomb lies still as stone,
for cannibals eat flesh slowly.
Hushed voices consume sarcophagus sounds
that pulse as the living dead lie still and listen.
Words in a vortex are always complex.
Torture is when you gouge out the centre and remove the cough!
But what’s left in the void?
Ask for the hidden line of irony
that falls between the spaces.
Bars of physical prisons create perimeters.

Pauses create the boundary between the living and the dead. Commemorative stones are full of memories – bandaged in vulnerability. Insanity is merely a state of mind. But whose truth carries more guilt?

Sarcophagus holds secrets carved in bone. It hides what is hidden in the dark. It places a sombre lid on the unspoken and the things dead in the past, with dire consequences. The past can never be undone. The action here finds a mother devastated, a child dying, a man shot, a couple torn apart, an alcoholic, an adulterer, a thief, a murder or two.  Each individual has a Sarcophagus within or under which the very funeral pyre of morality and conscience lie. These Sarcophagi are the testaments to our cannibalistic nature, to our preference for eating flesh.

There will be performances of Sarcophagus in the Rehearsal Room at The Monument in Grahamstown on July 4 at 21h30 and June 6 at 13h30.