Producing a crime-preventive youth theatre piece in South-Africa

The original idea was to move to Cape Town for one year, to work in the applied theatre program and create a performance with inmates in Pollsmoor and Goodwood Prison. But as with all work entered with passion an commitment, more upportunities is sparked. Now I’m in my second year. Through my work, I got acquainted with the organisation Young in Prison, and was thereby introduced to South African director Thando Doni and his latest, magnificent piece of physical theatre, Ubuze Bam. The piece was actually performed by young and talented ex-offenders from township areas, and it affected me deeply.

These young men had never acted before, let alone witnessed a theatre production. Yet, their remarkable stage performance, presence and powerful personal stories, was like a punch in the gut. Their stories clearly reflected both South African political history as well as the present political and social situation. And it evoke my curiousity: These are stories so far from a Norwegian reality. How would a Norwegian audience from 14-18 years, experience a performance created with real stories, performed by young people grown up under these conditions? What would a young Norwegian audience learn about different living conditions, different opportunities and demands for survival in this world? To create a meeting between young skilled South-African performers, and a young Norwegian audience, might build bridges and open doors.

And so the artistic idea to create Phefumla was born.

I contacted Thando Doni with the idea to create a new performance with a target audience from 14-18 years as a Norwegian/South-African co-production. South-african director Thando Doni is a specialist in deviced physical theatre, and builds his work from the physical, vocal and musical qualities of his performers.

Thando Doni -director

That’s how the ball started rolling. Now we’ve just reached the funding target, and I am about to produce a SA/NO co-production to premiére at the Cradle of Creativity, the international ASSITEJ festival 2017 taking place here in Cape Town, South Africa. Excited? Yes!

From the left: Sikhumbule Nkonki, Lazola Sikhutswa, Ntsikayomzi Tyalana, Eric Menyo,Bongani Dyalivana

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