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Monday, January 20, 2014


(Ayanda Fali)

Polished and practiced production voted runner-up in the audience vote for best Emerging Production. (Review by Keith Millar)

Wiseman Mncube is a previous award winner, as a performer, at the Musho! Festival. At this year’s Festival which has just ended at the Catalina Theatre at Wilson’s Wharf, he was back as part of the New Director Development Project (supported by the Arts and Culture Trust) with his intriguingly named play, Back To Nights Under The Street Poles.

Writer/director Mncube has for some time been recognised as an upcoming and promising theatre personality, He certainly lives up to that promise with this rather idiosyncratic and dramatic one-hander.

Roel Twijnstra was Mncube’s mentor for this production and their collaboration resulted in a production which was polished and practiced.

Back To Nights Under The Street Poles is about a 37 year-old woman who is about to be released from prison after an 18-year sentence. She is terrified of re-entering the real world and having to face up to everything that awaits her there. She has survived in prison by reliving her childhood memories, which she relates during the production, and by relying on her powerful imagination.

But is she completely stable – and is reality or imagination waiting for her on the outside?

The woman is played by Ayanda Fali who gives a strong and passionate performance. However, she is a attractive young woman and did not quite live up to my vision of a tough, hard-bitten jail bird who had been behind bars for 18 years.

Back To Nights Under The Street Poles is a good quality, tight, festival production. It was voted runner-up in the audience vote for best Emerging Production at the Festival

The Musho! Festival was presented by PANSA with support from Twist Theatre Development Projects, The KZN Department of Arts and Culture, The Daily News, BASA and the Arts and Culture Trust (ACT). For more details visit – Keith Millar