South African farce my ass.
This is an example of multimedia and intertextuality falling flat on its face. With a mighty 8 people in the audience, most of whom walked out cringing, this show really made me growl.
The program sounds like my English Lit notes: “a South African farce that pulls a tongue at the ways discourses, imposed and self-perpetuated, often ironically operate to reduce discourse itself.” Dude, the real irony is that you created a piece which reduces, undermines and destroys itself.
It starts off with two characters walking up and down and up and down. One with a silly disguise, the other with an imposing walking stick. These props are scrapped to engage in a tight and exhausting choreography, which, despite both the performers’ evident skill, says very little. Then a projected video on the back wall: the theme is the contradictions of South African life: a homeless man sleeps under the billboard advert for luxury mattresses, etc. Poignant, but very fragmentary and difficult to link to the previous choreography.
Then there’s more choreography, struggling and tension, by this point the audience is mostly over it, and we steal glances at our watches. Then, right at the end, Sizwe Zulu strips off all his clothes, we get some meaningless frontal nudity jiggled in our faces, as he seemingly begs Julia Wilson for attention or something.They walk off in opposite corners and freeze.
I’m about to graduate in the studies of various discourses…and yet this piece said so little to me. Sigh, sigh, sigh. Wilson and Zulu are really talented movers. But the direction and choreography was weak!! Gah.
I still don’t know what Babybrouhaha means, and I’m not going to waste time on Google trying to find out.
On the plus side, they did have some of the coolest posters I saw at Festival.