I have just returned home after spending a chilly winter’s evening scampering about theatres (read: with shining face and skipping feet)!
I particularly enjoyed the Magnet Theatre’s Every Year, Every day I am walking. Two powerful actresses, Jennie Reznek and Faniswa Yisa, transform the space into the playground in which two sisters form eternal memories…and then into their mother’s burning, withering house surrounded by warriors wielding machetes…and then into the long lonely roads that a mother with her only remaining daughter walks…reaching the big city of Cape Town…finding a new home, and moving again..
Through the superb use of physical theatre and multiple roleplay, the women work through the pain of losing a daughter and a sister, as well as a place to call home. Through mime and symbolism, both of which call on the audience to use their imagination, the past is left behind, and a new life is welcomed, as it rises through the ashes.
This play moved me and made me laugh, particularly thanks to the efficient characterisation by Reznek and Yisa into a variety of interesting characters. The main roles of the mother and her two daughters, are played with a poignancy that moves the audience to empathy and compassion.
The play’s multilingual nature hints at the story’s universality, as does the play’s geographical and historical vagueness. This is a story about three specific women, but it is also a story of many more refugees, of many countries across the globe. A story of loss, of violent fires in the dead of night, of exile, but inevitably also a story of hope, of healings, of new life.