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Saturday, July 7, 2018


(Mfundo Msomi & Sizwe Hlophe. Pic by Val Adamson)

The characters remain real and gain the audience’s sympathy in this emotional journey. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Directed and written by SMS Ngcobo, Wilting Lilies is a Behind the 4th Wall Film And Production drama that is currently performing on the National Arts Festival Fringe in Grahamstown.

The programme notes read:
This play is about the call for help by two young men, having lived in a society much like our own, trying to deconstruct the misconceptions of masculinity and suicide. However, these two young men begin to remind themselves that they are brothers and must live their lives without each other, having hope to one day gain back each other’s trust but most importantly becoming free, breaking from the chains of society and learning to become human once again

As we enter the theatre, we are faced with the bizarre sight of a tall man “hanging” from a noose, although his feet are firmly on a chair. On the other side of the stage, another man with a flamboyant hairdo is busy painting.

Two large banners hang across the back – one covered with a multitude of coloured paint splotches, the other simply has two words: Redemption Song. Centre stage is a table filled with science books and there are books scattered on the floor.

The men are two brothers. The “hanging” one is Langa played by Sizwe Hlophe and the painter is Nkosi played by Mfundo Msomi.

While Nkosi is into the artistic world, Langa’s leaning is towards science and physics, saying he was their mother’s problem solver and also explained to her how a wristwatch works.

Nkosi’s angry response is that when Langa tried to hang himself, he broke Nkosi’s precious chandelier, the one thing their mother said he’d made that was worthwhile.

Langa wants Nkosi to live the life he never had and let him die in peace. His writing of his suicide letter is poignantly presented, urging mother and brother to get up and fight.

SMS Ngcobo has skilfully directed these highly talented actors through their emotional journey which eventually ends up with Langa’s real suicide. Dialogue is often heated, full of blame or self-justification regarding their relationships with their parents and their response to their parents’ break-up. The characters remain real and gain the audience’s sympathy.

There are two more performances in the Library Hall: July 7 at 20h00 and July 8 at 14h00.
this production is supported by the Playhouse Company.- Caroline Smart