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Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Penultimate Musho! production presents a very dramatic and rather disturbing work. (Review by Keith Millar)

The penultimate production at the Musho! Festival at the Catalina Theatre this year was the very dramatic and rather disturbing work, Falling Pyramid. It was written and directed by Bongani R Baai, who is a graduate of the Musho! With a Twist development programme, and it was performed by the impressive Siyamthanda Mdluli.

The play is about Sthembiso who has become a megastar in the music industry. He has accumulated considerable wealth and should be living a fulfilled and contented life. However, he has a tragic past. He was thrown out of his home at the age of 14 and grew up on the streets of Durban. He had to turn to crime to survive before he became successful as a musician. He finds out that his uncle raped his mother and that is how he was conceived. The result of all this turmoil is that he is a very angry and disturbed young man.

The action takes place at a press conference called for the release of Sthembiso’s new album. He seems to hold the press responsible for all his problems and he angrily berates the gathered journalists about their role in his unhappiness. In between his tirades, there are flashbacks to his life as a young man.

Siyamthanda Mdluli not only plays Sthembiso with menacing anger but, as is the norm in a one-hander production, she also performs all the other roles. She does very well in creating convincing characters for Sthembiso’s mother and uncle and his manager, amongst others.

However, his main enemy is the gathered press core (the audience) and they must bear the brunt of his anger in an explosive end to the story.

While the significance of a female playing the role of the male music star was lost to me, Mdluli’s performance was noteworthy. The script, however, was a little slow-moving and rather predictable at times. It would benefit from some tightening up.

The Musho! Festival is presented by PANSA with support from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund as well as Ethekwini Municipality, the KZN Department of Arts and Culture, The Daily News, BASA, the Catalina Theatre and The Twist Theatre Development Projects. – Keith Millar