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Thursday, June 30, 2016


(A scene from "Nyanga". Pic by Ashleigh Morris)

Reviews from the artSMart team currently in Grahamstown at the 2016 National Arts Festival

Production tackles sensitive issues in a restrained and sophisticated manner. (Review by Khinali Bagwandeen)

Nyanga was a powerful start to my National Arts Festival 2016 experience. Student theatre is a platform for students to showcase their performances and they never cease to impress their audiences.

The heart of Grahamstown is Rhodes University and based on the popularity of their well-established drama department, the productions from the university are eagerly anticipated during the festival period. This year Rhodes introduces more than one home-grown production and to set the scene for the student theatre, Nyanga is delicate performance directed by the talented Thembela Madliki.

The story focuses on untold problems in a South African community and gently uncovers the speculations around witchcraft. Nyanga tackles some sensitive issues in a restrained and sophisticated manner that leaves the audience asking themselves the 'right' questions.

The cast consists of nine dynamic and brilliant actors who managed to reflect the themes of desire and betrayal magnificently. Each scene is thoughtfully crafted and there was a consistent transference of emotions from performer to audience.

Nyanga features four different languages but even in instances where one isn’t well versed in the communicated language, the strength of the performance carries the story through.

There is just one more day to catch Nyanga in The Rehearsal Room at the Monument tomorrow (July 1 at 19h00).

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