Sunday, December 9, 2012

THE VIEW by Rust Co-Operative

My first 'job' out of varsity. The response has been incredible and the process: even better.

We've had some fantastic reviews so far. I'll keep adding them to this post.

Expressing a View
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Expressing a View

By: Daniel Dercksen6 Dec 2012 12:44Submit a commentBizLikeThe View, which is now on at UCT's Intimate Theatre, can only be described as a cerebral orgasm of thought, ideas and expression.This fundamentally radical new play from Philip Rademeyer, who gave us the vexing Lie, is an emotionally charged explosion of awareness. It effectively examines humanity and explores humaneness, turning points of view upside down and inside out with astounding wit and dark humour, profound intelligent introspection and absurd truth.
Inspired by an American pastor's recent comments that gays and lesbians should be contained in an isolated enclosure and ultimately killed off, The View's simplistic setting features a young man imprisoned in a cell, looking down at a ruined Earth and dreaming of being rescued. Through a series of conversations between the boy and family members, historical figures and characters from his imagination, the play illuminates the boy's life and relationships, and also reveals the reason for his incarceration.

Magnificent performances
If there is one reason to see this important work of art, it's for Gideon Lombard and Ella Gabriel's magnificent performances. Lombard has flexed his acting muscle with extraordinary performances in ... miskien and Special Thanks To Guests From Afar, and, with The View, his well-honed instinctive sensibility and natural talent brings heartbreaking characters to vibrant life with heartfelt passion. Lombard is mesmerising, his performance filled with a charming honesty that is sincere.
Equally brilliant is Ella Gabriel, who blew audiences away with her remarkable performance in UCT's A Streetcar Named Desire, delivering a sensational performance as the many characters who oppose and question the tormented young man's views. Gabriel's gift is undeniable; The View gives audiences a unique opportunity to witness the vast range of her special talent.

Incredibly visceral visual sense
Rademeyer's exceptional skill as writer is only equalled by his incredibly visceral visual sense, filled with delicate detail and controlled excellence. He allows us to listen, to really listen, digest and absorb his richly textured and multi-layered text. It's also an incredibly funny and poignant dissection of the eternal rivalry between what society deems normal and anomalous; a dramatic conflict between heterosexual bliss and procreation and homosexual evil; the universal faces of love in all its extremes, and life placed under an astute microscope.
The synergy and crackling chemistry between Lombard and Gabriel is exceptional, as well as the unique symbiosis between words and performance. The View is what live theatre is all about and how live theatre can challenge its audience intimately and personally.

Senseless jabbering and meaningless and worn-out words
There is defence in its offence, and shows how senseless jabbering and meaningless and worn-out words can suffocate and poison interpretation and communication. Recollections, judgment and thoughts are explored in their extreme and stripped naked and raw. No matter how set your view is, dare to challenge who you are and what you think with The View.

We need brainy plays like The View to stimulate the intellect and allow us a unique opportunity to look at the world differently and respect other people's views. "Humans, people, are the problem," states The View, and, for once, I have to agree. Also, "People are not the problem," is its defence. "They are too timid. The darkness beckons and they run away." When madness has destroyed the fabric of our humaneness, regret always comes too late and memories become our eternal prison.

The View is an intimate journey into what is wrong with the world and an important exploration of what needs to be done to improve the world and the quality of our lives.
The View is only on for one week so do whatever you have to in order to experience this exceptional proudly South African production. 

Read more about The View at
The View runs at the Intimate Theatre until 14 December at 8pm (no performance Monday, 10 December). Tickets are R70/R50. To book, or call +27 (0)82 410 6996.

A sermon, preached by a certain Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina, captured on a video camera and posted on YouTube, went viral:  It's been viewed more than  282,500 times and has been covered in blogs, in newspapers and by TV stations around America. The New York Daily News and the Huffington Post counted it as one of the most trafficked stories of the day.  In his sermon the good pastor suggested that gays and lesbians be incarcerated in huge enclosures surrounded by electric fences... "And have that fence electrified 'til they can't get out," he says.  "Feed 'em and you know what, in a few years, they'll die out.  Do you know why? They can't reproduce”. The most frightening part of this pastor’s tirade is that his statements do not exist in isolation. This type of hate speech is heard around the world on a daily basis. There are governments taking steps to eradicate homosexuality and liberal thinking from their populations.

In Philip Rademeyer’s new play The View, a young man sits alone in a hermetically sealed pod at an undisclosed location, looking down at a ruined earth and dreaming of being rescued.  A gatekeeper or jailer arrives with his final request;  a video containing interviews with various people from his life. From his hermetically sealed pod, the boy reviews the people and influencers from his life. It unfolds as a type of docudrama, the characters (and there are many) each in turn relate their insights, opinions and feelings about the young man. It’s an apocalyptic scenario in which homosexuals and other dissidents are subjected to a Stalinist isolation.  Bigotry, hate and ignorance mix with love, compassion and misunderstanding in this powerful piece of theatre. Written as a two-hander, this play, staged by Rust Co-Operative, is set to be the talking point of Cape Town theatrical circles for quite some time.  It is beyond poignant; it’s hard hitting and very real narrative strikes at the very core.  Gideon Lombard as the young man delivers a deep and very dark perspective on gay life.  At times hopeful of liberation and at others resigned to his fate, his existence is a metaphor for those in society who examine and question their perceived isolation from society and it’s norms.  A strong and pivotal performance from Lombard sets an anchor for perhaps the most striking facet of the play. The video characters described earlier are all played by Ella Gabriel. In a tour de force she characterises everything from the driver who brought the young man to this place of isolation, to his parent’s struggling to accept his homosexuality and his current disposition.  She moves seamlessly from one character to the next with only the aid of a few simple props.  The audience riveted to each monologue in turn, these two actors charging us to examine our most deeply held opinions and beliefs. Hardly daring to breathe, I await each new development in turn.  

An eerie soundtrack accompanies the play.  Set design by Penelope Youngleson is stark and simple. Lighting, sound and set are perfectly fitting for this apocalyptic scenario.  As I leave the confines of the Intimate Theatre, I am excited and disquieted by what I have just seen.  Chatting briefly to friends and colleagues we can all agree on one thing, this is a must see. Don’t miss it! 

Postscript: The View is fast becoming a talking point and the word is spreading fast. Hopefully another stage will beckon before too long.  

And (I'll add the translation once it's done):

Poëtiese teks oor hoop en verlies tref sekuur

2012-12-10 01:48
Charles Worley het geskok, maar sy gewraakte opmerking het toe tog positief vrugte gedra.
Vroeër vanjaar het Worley gesê gays en lesbiërs moet in konsentrasiekampe gesit word waar hulle uiteindelik kan uitsterf sonder om voort te plant.
Kyk ’n mens na wat byvoorbeeld in Uganda aan die gebeur is, en selfs net na korrektiewe verkragting op ons voorstoep, sien jy dat baie ander sy sentiment deel.
Nou by die positiewe: Philip Rademeyer het die stelling gevat en op sy kop gedraai. Hy bied aan ’n jong man die kans om diep in sy siel te gaan delf en met sensitiwiteit oor sy lewe en verhoudings te praat. Hy praat met sy familie, soms praat hy sommer net.
Gideon Lombard sit in die kollig. Aan die een kant is dit ’n gevangenis. Eers later besef ’n mens wat die ‘‘misdaad’’ is waarvoor hy moet boet.
Vir die gehoor is die ruimte aan die ander kant amper ’n beskermende borrel waarin hy kan praat en praat en praat, en sit en sit, en is en is.
Min akteurs kan dit regkry om ’n marathon binne ’n beperkte ruimte hardloop. Lombard kry dit reg om dit op een kolletjie, op een ongemaklike stoeltjie, reg te kry.
Die indruk word gewek dat hy neerkyk op ’n plek van verwoesting. Sy laaste wens is om ’n video te kry waarop onderhoude is met verskillende mense wat ’n indruk op hom gemaak het.
Gabriel glip moeiteloos in verskeie karakters se vel. Sy is onder meer hekwag, bestuurder, engel, gewese geliefde, die kind wat hy nooit sal hê nie, suster, pa en ma.
Elkeen is ’n perfekte klein kamee wat met min woorde eintlik so baie sê. Die pa weet dat sy seun iewers vanuit die sterre op hom afkyk.
Die ma is die een wat jou die meeste aangryp. In haar klein wêreld waar sy nog haar plastiekhandskoene dra, vir waarskynlik skottelgoed was, en haar klein figuur in ’n soortgelyke ligkol, slaan sy jou vierkantig in die midderif.
Die teks hanteer verlies, hartseer, herinneringe en hoop. Dis diggeweef, dis digterlik, dis briljant.
Gemeet aan vorige werk wat die klein geselskap Rust Co-operative al gedoen het, het mens iets uniek verwag. Dat jy die teater snikkend en totaal oorweldig gaan verlaat, kon mens egter nie voorsien nie.
- Die Burger