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Saturday, April 4, 2015


(Bongani Mbatha)

Powerful, compelling and relentless performance brings this one man production to life. (Review by Keith Millar)

A powerful, compelling and relentless performance by Bongani Mbatha brought this one man production, with a strong moral message, to life.

Mbatha plays Innocent Mhlanga who, on leaving Kokies Tavern in Kwa Mashu one night, is involved in a terrible accident. He miraculously survives, but he is left disabled. As a result he receives a substantial pay-out from the Road Accident Fund.

Instead of conserving this money he embarks on a mad spending spree and buys everything from clothing to motor cars. He lives an extravagant life style, spoiling his friends and throwing lavish parties. He also pays for the renovation of Kokies Tavern.

 Although he does not have a driver’s license, one night when drunk he attempts to drive a car and this action has tragic consequences. At the same time he learns that all his money is gone (All Gone). His friends abandon him and he becomes a cleaner and labourer at Kokies Tavern.

The play reflects how often when people are given a chance in life to secure a future from themselves and their families they instead squander the opportunity and end up in a life of poverty and hardship.

All Gone is a true-life tale co-written by Bongani Mbatha and Thami Sikhosana, who is also responsible for the direction of the play. The story is played out partly in the form of story-telling and partly as a narrative from various characters. These characters are all excellently created  by Mbatha.

Mbatha is alone onstage for the duration of the production. He uses only a few items of clothing to change character or status. His props are a few beer crates. These are stacked to set the scene of Kokies Tavern and other environments. It is simple but quite effective. This, along with Mbatha’s fabulous performance, evokes a convincing township vibe.

All Gone can be seen at the Catalina Theatre at Wilson’s Wharf, Thursdays to Saturdays at 19h00, and Sundays at 15h00 until April 12. Tickets R50 booked at Computicket, by phoning 0861 915 8000, or online at Tickets will also be available at the door. For school bookings phone 083 250 2690. – Keith Millar