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Friday, August 26, 2016


(Sboniso Msimango & Wanda Zuma)

Msimango and Zuma are brilliant together. (Review by Verne Rowin Munsamy)

The young and vibrant WordPlay Company, present Flip Side at The Courtyard Theatre. A story of a young man’s masculine quest to avenge his father’s death.

A man with many hats, Sboniso Msimango, is infusing some much need positive energy into Durban’s theatre scene. With flare and sophistication he has written, directed, choreographed, performed designed the lights and the set for Flip Side and all I can say about this talented young man is...WOW!

His precision and detail within all of these elements that he tackles creates a great synergy on stage. He employs a skilful eye in directing an opera singer, drummers in a chorus, as well as himself and young Wanda Zuma, who himself is a marvel on stage. The set is draped with vines and white screens to create shadows and a background. The screens resemble large tombstones which is very fitting for this haunting realisation of life on the streets of Durban.

Msimango plays Hamly, a young boy seeking revenge for his father’s murder, living on the streets, befriending James (a hobo) in order to find answers to the killing of his father. The conversations with the father’s ghost or spirit is embodied in contemporary dance woven into operatic sounds. We learn the tricks of the trade to living on the streets and the thuggery that manifests itself within such lifestyle.

Wanda Zuma, also shines in his role as the aggressive fearless gangster who would do anything to survive. Embroidered in the eviction saga that plagued the 2010 soccer world, these two actors reveal what it could have been like to be homeless while millions were being spent on entertainment and developing sports stadiums. Msimango and Zuma are brilliant together. There is great cohesion in this piece and I look forward to future words that thus budding company may present.

The play is well written and tackles many relevant, contemporary issues of manhood, poverty and common fears. My only critique - and this is a personal preference - would be that there are too many blackouts in the piece. These could be replaced with better use of the screens present on stage, to perhaps explore shadows and light more. A valiant effort by all involved, especially Msimango, who proves adamantly that he means business and has a creative eye for poignant theatre-making.

Flip Side has one more performance tomorrow (August 27) at 19h00 at the Courtyard Theatre on the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Steve Biko Campus and is definitely one NOT to be missed. Well done to the team! Forward thinkers making theatre, how will they change the landscape of local theatre ...?

Tickets R60 at the door. For further information, call 079 601 5406/ 073 787 3681(o/h). - Verne Rowin Munsamy