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The 3 siblings of the play: Teo, Ani and Nic.

The 3 siblings of the play: Teo, Ani and Nic.

Last term, I worked as part of the Production Team for an Afrikaans play put on by my university (Rhodes)’s Drama Department. I was in charge of Stage Properties, as well as trying to understand what the heck a melkberktjkiesomething is, seeing as I only speak five words of Afrikaans (literally).

The play was entered into a scriptwriting competition, which it won along with several other scripts, and thus my Department was asked to stage it at the annual Absa KKNK Festival here in South Africa.

KKNK stands for Culture something something National something. I really don’t know how to spell it.

I spent a considerable amount of time last term shopping for stage blood, cooking it on my digs stove, hunting down guns, lighters, bandages and kartontassies, amongst about another 150 props. It was so interesting, and challenging, and has definitely motivated me to never a stage a play that requires more than a carboard box, but it was worth it.

At the KKNK, Die Bannelinge (The Exiles) won the 2009 Sanlam Prize for Afrikaans Theatre (SPAT), with the play itself gaining a hefty amount of moola for Rhodes, and one of the cast members also winning Best Actor. We also won Best Director and Best Writer. Pretty much,Β  we claimed all the major prizes πŸ˜€

The play deals with the story of Oedipus but in a South African context. The names are adapted to suit the inhabitants of an Afrikaans farm during Apartheid, so that Antigone becomes Ani, Jocasta is Jo, and Oedipus is called “Mnr O.” Land lust, incest, bloodshed and racism are all part of the daily lives of these “exiles.” The pace is relentless and the actors completely dedicated to the plot and their character’s passions.

And even though I’ve watched the play five times, they made me hold my breath each time.

Also check out this link for more info

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Comments on: "A Little Success Story" (12)

  1. Well done again my friend. You worked so hard on this thing, and it sounds like something that’s going to be around for longer than you guys would expect.

  2. dannysabenada said:

    The show sounds really cool! It’s amazing the weird stuff that we need to buy when we’re out shopping for props.

    • Hehe that’s so true! Last year I stage-managed a choreography piece which required about 30-40 panties and bras. Of all sizes and colours. It was HILARIOUS to go to the shops, fill up the trolley with bras that would fit a 12 year old and panties that would fit santa, and then buy them all, seemingly for myself. The till-ladies had quite a laugh πŸ˜›

      Are you a drama student?

      • yeah, i’m a junior (high school) and i’m hoping to pursue stage management as a career. i can’t imagine myself doing anything else becuase i’m too mentally unbalanced lol.

        • ah that’s great! stage management in south africa, as your only job, would probably earn you a peanut. not even peanuts. lol, where are you from? Added your blog to my rss feed! How far in highschool are you, like which class/year? Haha mental imbalance is great, except if you’re working with crazy theatre people, you sometimes need to be a little saner than them πŸ˜› Otherwise you find yourself having to build penises about of latex, and phoning butchers asking them for pig hearts. YES. you read right πŸ˜›

          • haha same here, i’m not going to be living off of stage management unless i miraculously get a gig in new york or chicago. i’m a junior in high school in baltimore (maryland, usa). what show did you need huge penises and pig hearts for? that sounds crazy! lol.

            • Wow, no idea where that is in the usa haha. What’s a junior? in SA we have five years of highschool, grade 8 to grade 12, from ages 13 to 18 πŸ™‚ Haha those props were for a pretty violent play about land lust and incest and all sorts of crazy things – the one i blogged about, actually. “Die Bannelinge” πŸ™‚

              • Haha it’s on the East coast… sort of between Atlanta and New York. In the US, high school is 9th through 12th grade and a junior is 11th grade. Luckily, I only have one more year lol.

                What language is that? Dutch? Afrikaans?

                • Oh rad! i remember when I was in Grade 11 I was already dreamin about headin off to university πŸ˜› hehe what’s it like living with Obama as president? hehe the SA politics scene is looking dismal at the moment (not that it’s ever really had a shining moment, except for Mandela’s 1994 election and rule. )

                  “Die Bannelinge” is Afrikaans, which is related to Dutch though because the Dutch colonised parts of South Africa before the English did in the 1800’s, so the dutch settlers stayed and picked up english and various african languages, and the linguistic result was Afrikaans.

                  It’s kinda seen as the ‘language of the oppressor’ because of Apartheid being implemented by many afrikaaners (afrikaans speakers) (though many english speakers were also damn racist), which is why putting on plays like DB, in Afrikaans, is so important, because it gives a chance to new generations of afrikaans-speakers to embrace their language without always being named as racist oppressors because of their language’s history. πŸ™‚

  3. Obama life is interesting, he wasn’t my choice last year. I really wanted to like him but I felt like he wasn’t experienced enough and I didn’t like his campaign one bit. I was one of the crazy, disillusioned Hillary Clinton supporters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_United_Means_Action) and I honestly haven’t been too pleased with Obama…he hasn’t held up many of his lofty campaign promises, which disappoints me. That being said, I still am (very) liberal and I’m very excited that we have a nonwhite president.

    I like that idea! It’s always awesome when we can use theater as a vehicle for education and cultural enrichment. πŸ™‚

  4. you might have clicked reply to one of my previous comments instead of the last one?

    Hmm havent heard much about Obama since the elections, what hasn’t he been delivering? Did Hillary still get a substantial number of seats in parliament tho?

    Hope you’re getting thru the boredom of school okay, why are they still making u go if u dont have work to do?

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