So Solo festival back at Wits for third year

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So Solo - Without Others Mixed Race by Otsile Masemola. Photo by Thabo Moloto
So Solo – Without Others Mixed Race by Otsile Masemola. Photo by Thabo Moloto

So Solo, the festival of one-person plays at WITS has a line-up of note this year and will provide thought-provoking theatre between 23 November and 4 December at Wits Theatre in Braamfontein.The hugely anticipated So Solo kicks off with an inspiring 3rd season promising the same excellent standard of theatre performances, which audiences have been witness to since the festival debuted in 2014

This year 11 talented performers will take to the stage creating a programme characterised by a great diversity of form and expression. “The programme this year encapsulates the varied artistic impulses that characterise South African theatre and performance. So Solo magnifies the significance of storytelling and while different forms and techniques are used, the result is a festival that celebrates our shared and very unique reality.”

Johannesburg audiences can look forward to watching everything from comedy to drama at the festival, which will begin with So Solo’s officially commissioned play for 2016, Gqisha! The Chant that Calls. This socio-political play by Khayelihle “Dom” Gumede and Raezeen Wentworth reflects on the war dance of so many of South Africans striving for a better future. The piece is performed by Nhlanhla Mahlangu and will have 10 performances during So Solo. . Gita Pather, Director of Wits Theatre and So Solo said: “Dom Gumede and Raezeen Wentworth are Wits graduates with very different strengths and talents. Both have proven their worth in the professional arena and. I was intrigued by the possibilities they would present as a commissioned duo. Commissioning a new play is all about the creative team and they have chosen to work with Nhlanhla who is a formidable talent on his own.”

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On 24 November the expressive one-man play, Flower/ur, will explore men’s hidden emotions through the act of making, playing and revisiting their inner-most secrets. Then on 25 and 27 November, Be a Better Dog confronts issues of poverty, opulence, class, race, workers’ rights, animal rights and the rights of both humans and dogs – all highly relevant topics right now. This provocative piece of theatre is co-directed by Seiphemo Motswiri and Phala Ookeditse Phala and performed by Seiphemo Motswiri.

The University of Pretoria solos titled Soliloquy will be performed on 26 and 27 November. Drawing inspiration from Shakespearean soliloquies this Physical Theatre programme responds to and embodies various characters and themes from diverse Shakespearean works including his sonnets and plays like Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth. In commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death, Soliloquy reinvigorates his work for a 21st century context. It is directed by Bailey Snyman with individual solos by Bianca Rudd, Nikita Mokgware; Westley Smith, Rachel Swanepoel, Morne and Max Breytenbach.

The second dance programme is a new season of solo works presented by the magnificent Moving into Dance Company titled Without Others. The performances deal with self-doubt and the butterfly-like evolution to hope. They take us on beautiful, poignant and sometimes intense journeys through despair, dehumanisation and self-actualization as we start to believe in our survival despite our gender, race and beginnings. It includes Nix Race by Otsile Masemola; My Black is Black by Sunnyboy Mandla Motau; Kemet by Asanda Ruda; koSoKU (straightjacket) by Thenjiwe Soxokoshe; If you can’t convince them, confuse them by Kgotsofalang Moshe; Everlast by Eugene Mashiane; and Riesie by Sussera Olyn.

In her shoes poignantly explores everyday issues faced by the most neglected group in our society, the women who beg on streets. The piece will be performed on 26 and 27 November. It is directed by Ntombi Nkuna, co-written by Sindiwe Mntonintshi and Ntombi Nkuna and performed by Sindiwe Mntonintshi

The Torture, on 26 November, follows the heartbreaking story of a military veteran named Kedibone Mothibantwa, who has just returned from exile after many years and has come home to tell his best friend’s family why he is back without their beloved relative. The play is directed by Botho Molahloe, written by Katlego Chale and performed by Kenneth Mlambo.

Return of the Panty Slitter is a dark comedy by award-winning actor and writer, Rajesh Gopie, and is directed by upcoming new director, Gopala Davies. It tells the story of a fallen detective who takes on an unwanted case in the heartland of Indian (Durban) South Africa, Chatsworth, where women’s underwear has gone missing from their bodies for no apparent reason. This humorous whodunit will be performed on 2 and 3 December.

On 4 December the interactive The First Date will rely on the participation of the audience and challenge it to become an active spectator. This playful and entertaining piece is written and directed by Kwanele Finch Thusi and performed by Zsa Zsa.

Finally, on 3 and 4 December, the award-winning tragi-comedy Out of Bounds relives the childhood of a boy named Lall who was born and raised in an Indian joint family system in Durban in the 1980’s. His reasonably happy life is shattered because of racially motivated riots. Writer Rajesh Gopie also performs some 25 characters in this unforgettable play, which is directed by Tina Johnson

“This has been a stressful year for all of us and I believe the So Solo programme offers us a chance to celebrate our nation and provides a wonderful kick off to the holiday season”.

The So Solo plays will be performed in the Wits theatre venues. Please see all details in the attached programme.

Book online at www.webtickets.co.za or purchase your tickets from box office.

Facebook: So Solo
Twitter: WitsTheatre1 #sosolo2016

 

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