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Monday, January 19, 2015


Idiosyncratic, dark and deliciously funny. (Review by Keith Millar)

Tristan Jacobs, a previous Musho! Festival award winner has brought an intriguing little production, entitled Actress and Girl to the festival this year.

It is a quirky, physical and rather comical work which is made particularly notable by superb performances by the two actresses. They are Maude Sandham as the Actress and Rachael Neary as the Girl. These two are also given credit for having created the work, while inspired direction is by Simona Mazza.

The actress is abandoned in the middle of the Karoo while on her way to audition for the role of Desdemona in a production of Othello in Port Elizabeth. Penniless and alone she hooks up with a strange homeless girl who lives at the side of a dusty road. There they wait for cars to pass so that they can hitch a lift to Port Elizabeth. The question is - do they really want to leave and abandon the outlandish alternative reality they have created for themselves?

They seem to be totally reliant on each other and spend their days following the same bizarre rituals. This includes acting out scenes from Othello and performing routines to the song All I Do Is Dream of You. The actress is an absolute diva and lords it over the girl who has to be co-star, stagehand, make-up girl, and dresser all at once.

However the wheel slowly turns, and with surprising consequences.

Actress and Girl is definitely something a little different. It is idiosyncratic, dark and deliciously funny. Both Sandham and Neary put in stellar performances and create three dimensional characters that one can’t help liking and disdaining at the same time. They are full of energy and handle the physical aspects of the production with aplomb.

The Musho! Festival has set an excellent standard this year and Actress and Girl is right up there with the best.

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