Two things I like:
Put the two together, centred around a gifted performer by the name of Craig Morris, stir them into a South African autobiographical novel by Troy Blacklaws, and out comes Blood Orange.
The story deals with Troy, whose life is portrayed by the character of Gecko, and his upbringing during Apartheid. Morris manages to capture both the sweet-sour moments of childhood and adolescence, as well as the more large-scale cringe-worthy details of Apartheid. One of my favourite parts was when he imitated the callous, pompous school principal who whips Gecko with a cane, for his ‘liberal thinking’. I think a lot of South Africans can relate to these kinds of stories, and it’s also great for kids of my generation, who (I hope) weren’t whipped at school for not being racist, to see that there has been some progress, after all. Blood Orange reminds us to be less bitter, I reckon.
While I really enjoyed the story, the use of Zulu as well as English, and the clever use of tyres as the only prop on stage, I found a lot of the phys theatre to be quite predictable. Having worked on Stilted for two years, and having been in the Rhodes Drama Dept for three, I’ve become quite acquainted with typical phys theatre ‘acts’… kind of like in the circus, the juggler or the trapeze acts become a ”standard”. In my opinion, while Morris is a really talented and well-trained performer, he didn’t seem very original in this piece.
Let’s hope I don’t get shot for saying this, but I reckon Morris could really have pushed himself more. It was still a great piece, but if I had to compare it to other physical theatre pieces, which I do, it wouldn’t stand out as unique or incomparable.