Lara Foot’s latest play, The Inconvenience of Wings, brings bipolar disorder and friendships into the spotlight, at the National Arts Festival.
Lara Foot, the National Arts Festival 2016 Featured Artist and 1996 Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre, has assembled a stellar cast and creative team for the much anticipated world premiere of her latest play, The Inconvenience of Wings.
Following its debut at the festival, the production – starring Jennifer Steyn, Andrew Buckland and Mncedisi Shabangu – transfers to the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from 12 July to 13 August at 7.30pm nightly with Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.
Set in a landscape of memory and dreams, The Inconvenience of Wings tackles the issues of friendship, dysfunction, addiction and angels. Sara (Steyn) has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder; she is compulsive, alive and hates women who know how to make cupcakes. Paul (Buckland), her husband, is on a mission to find a cure for her afflictions and Professor James (Shabangu) quietly tries to save Paul from the inconvenience of his wings.
This powerful and poignant new drama was inspired by author Abraham J Twerski`s book Addictive Thinking that examines the notion of compulsion, addiction, denial and abuse of self as well as conversations on bipolar disorder that she had with celebrated psychiatrist Dr Sean Baumann. It was further stirred by her father who has suffered from dementia for more than a decade.
This production also celebrates Foot’s illustrious history of collaborating with Buckland (Betrayal, The Well Being and Scrooge) and Shabangu (Tshepang and Fishers of Hope). It marks her first journey with Jennifer Steyn, who was the 2014 Fleur du Cap award winner for The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore and who was recently seen at the Baxter in A Doll’s House. Most recently Andrew Buckland was seen in Tobacco, And the Harmful Effects Thereof and Mncedisi Shabangu in Sizwe Banzi is Dead.
Lara once again teams up with the award-winning set designer Patrick Curtis and lighting designer Mannie Manim, with whom she shared success for Solomon and Marion. Other collaborations with Curtis include Remembering the Lux, Fishers of Hope, Betrayal, Karoo Moose and Scrooge.
Lara is the CEO and artistic director of the Baxter Theatre Centre and a former Rolex protégé to Sir Peter Hall in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. She has become known and respected for her own hard-hitting plays, which sensitively and creatively, tackle social issues in South Africa and for which she has won several awards. Earlier this year Lara’s production of Fishers of Hope (which premiered at the National Arts Festival in 2014) scooped four Naledi Theatre Awards in Johannesburg, including the coveted Best Production of a Play accolade.
As the 2016 Featured Artist at the 43rd National Arts Festival she leads the charge on the Main programme which is made up of 80% of work written, directed, curated or headlined by women.
“In a year when the National Arts Festival sharpens the spotlight on women writers, directors, choreographers and artists Lara Foot’s contribution to South African theatre both in South Africa and abroad, positions her as a leader in the field,” says NAF artistic director, Ismail Mahomed.
“She is one of South Africa’s most prolific theatre-makers. Her prowess as a formidable arts manager under a challenging funding climate is most admirable. Under her wing the Baxter Theatre Centre continues to be one of South Africa’s leading theatres. Her commitment and passion for strategically devised development initiatives has also created opportunities for many emerging artists to be catapulted into the mainstream. Presenting her as the 2016 Featured Artist honours both her achievements and her contribution to the sector over the past 20 years.”
Lighting design is by Mannie Manim, set design by Patrick Curtis, composition and sound design is by Philip Miller, choreography by Grant van Ster and costume design by Birrie le Roux.
The Inconvenience of Wings previews at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from 12 to 13 July, opens 14 July and runs until 13 August at 7.30pm nightly with Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. There is an age restriction of 16 (Nudity and Language).
Booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For corporate, block or school bookings, charities and fundraisers, contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993, or e-mail email@example.com
DATES & TIMES AT THE NATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
Venue: Rhodes Theatre
Sunday, 3 July at 20:00; Monday, 4 July at 14:00 and 20:00; Tuesday, 5 July at 14:00 and 20:00