• Lance-Selae August

Tears, Spanish Flair and Shakespeare in Klara Maas se hart is gebreek

Klara Maas se hart is gebreek, ensomeer: Die Vloeistof Trilogie – a theatre piece with a mouthful as its namesake, written and directed by Wessel Pretorius, has audiences in stitches at the Alexander Upstairs this November. Pretorius displays his acting ability in the production as well, alongside David Ralph Viviers.

Klara Maas tells the story of two characters, a narrator and his sidekick. Together, they take on a very unique and vibrant approach to storytelling. They portray three stories (hence a trilogy), being, the biography of a tear, a love triangle between a matador, mantle and Spanish bull, and lastly, a legendary night of passion. These stories, which seemingly originate from different eras, all intersect through Pretorius’ use of popular culture references in his script.

Aesthetically, audiences are greeted with a busy, vaudeville-inspired set, riddled with props, mannequins, fairylights, and suitcases. The production’s use of costumes is synonymous with what was seen in the Commedia dell’arte genre of theatre, with hints here and there to Spanish culture. Nonetheless, the busy set and classic costume choices are interwoven into what results in a magical performance.

A bit of history: Klara Maas first debuted as an Uitkampteater project at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in 2016, where it won a Kanna award for “Beste Debuutwerk”. The production was further developed into a full script, and was performed at the KKNK in 2017 too. Afterwards, the crowds from up-country were amused by Klara Maas at Innibos, which was held in July 2017.

This small, intimate, quirky and off-beat production lends itself to being a very expressive work of physical theatre, incorporating miming, humours music references and cheeky narration which culminates in a comedy experience that will have a profound impact on audiences, and make them feel a great deal of joy.

Pretorius cites the purpose of the production as being to allow the audience to achieve a sense of levity when they leave the theatre, so that they feel motivated and jazzed for the day that lies ahead of them. Klara Maas will allow audiences to exercise their imagination and find joy in empathy.

Although the production is fast-paced and staged entirely in Afrikaans, audiences can rest assured that they will not miss any of the key moments of the production, as the talented performances, nuances and sound cues encompasses a universal language, whom anybody can follow.

The production features a great deal of audience interaction. Klara Maas se hart is gebreek, ensomeer: Die Vloeistof Trilogie, runs at the Alexander Upstairs until 25 November 2017 at 21:00 nightly. Tickets are available from the Alexander Bar website, with seats costing R100 if booked online, or R110 if paid at the bar.

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