national Arts Festival Banner

Friday, July 8, 2016


(Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi)

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

Storytelling theatre at its best. (Review by Verne Rowin Munsamy)

Last year I was blown away by Undermined, a show about miners using Physical Theatre as the backbone to tell the story. This year, the same troupe of actors and producers, Here Manje and KB Theatre Productions, return with A Man And A Dog.

Shows begin at 10h00 at the festival and so on a damp and ‘early’ morning, I made my way to Princess Alice Theatre to admire the physical prowess of A Man And A Dog, written and directed by Penelope Youngleson and previously nominated for The Fleur du Cap and winner of the Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award.

The show makes use of oral traditional, song and physical theatre. Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi is simply magnificent as he recounts the relationship of man with dogs. He has a bold, baritone voice and physical detail that arrests your attention. “Blood doesn’t forget, it always returns to the heart, like family”, we follow Mkhwanazi and his search for a family to belong to. Just one of the storylines, you are entangled in the lives of various characters and situations but your attention never deviates from the powerful performance that is given by Mkhwanazi.

We feel for this young man who killed his own dog on his journey to discovering who he was, in a world where he had no ‘real’ male role model. This lost little boy becomes a lost man.He is lost to the streets but is then rescued by his Gogo, who never stopped searching for her lost family. Storytelling theatre at its best. The show is very deserving of all its accolades. - Verne Rowin Munsamy

A Man And A Dog has two more performances at Princess Alice Hall: July 9 and 10 at 11h30.

(For more information on the National Arts Festival click on the banner advert at the top of this page)