The Vulture Photography project celebrates and supports the work of South African theatre-practitioners. We showcase and feature various aspects of the South African Theatre industry, from stage productions to awards ceremonies and festivals. Accompanied by Performing arts Photography, the project aims to give our readers a descriptive and visual experience of the local theatre industry.

Science, Honey and Parallel Universes in #Hemelruim

May 1, 2017

 

  • Science: an intellectual activity that involves the study of the structure and behaviour of the natural and physical word through observation and experiment.

  • Honey: a sweet, sticky fluid made by bees from nectar collected from flowers.

  • Parallel Universe: an undetectable world, that co-exists alongside our own.

 

These elements wonderfully come together to form a majestic storyline in Hemelruim, an adaptation of Constellations, A play by the English playwright Nick Payne. 

 

 

Constellations was presented by the Manhattan Theatre Club and has since reached international acclaim, having been staged at various theatres including the Royal Court Theatre (London), Broadway Theatre (New York) and the Royal Melbourne Theatre Centre (Melbourne). 

 

The South African adaptation features an award-winning creative team:

 

  • Paul du Toit (recent Fleur du Cap award winner for Lead Actor in the musical Hedwig and the angry inch),

  • Tinarie van Wyk Loots (Kanna award for Best Actress in Babbel), and

  • Nico Scheepers, who continues his successful career as the director, writer and designer. His translation of the script demonstrates a stylistic use of the Afrikaans language, and true to the Vulture Productions tenet of unconventionalism, Scheepers did not audition Van Wyk Loots and Du Toit. The cast originated organically.

 

 

The play tells a story of two souls, in love: a beekeeper and a physicist, humans at best, who find meaning in each other’s lives. They meet each other again, and again, in multiple universes. It is thus a love story that transcends time. The production defies the boundaries of the world we think we know, and leaves the audiences with questions about the difference between choice, fate and destiny.

 

Van Wyk Loots and du Toit gives the audience the opportunity to see how every choice made by human kind, has the ability to affect lives in various ways, through various outcomes. The performances are captivating, and demands the presence of all human senses. The audience sees various versions of the couple’s lives play out in parallel universes, each presenting its own destiny.

 

 

The set design is minimalistic, not grandious, a representation of raw theatre. A set of only dangling lightbulbs, sets the tone for a visual feast – aesthetic appeal to your heart’s content. Designed by Scheepers, it blends harmoniously with the depiction of the story, performed in Afrikaans, and features English surtitles.

 

Hemelruim is no stranger to the theatre and festival circuit, as it has been performed at the Aardklop National Arts Festival in 2015 and US Woordfees in 2016. The Production will now enjoy a brief showcase at the Fugard Theatre Studio until 13 May.

 

As a testament to the production’s success, it has achieved the following accolades:

 

  • Best Actress at the Aardklop National Arts Festival

  • Best Actress at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees

  • Best Actress at the kykNET Fiësta Awards.

 

Hemelruim will be performed at the Fugard Theatre Studio until 13 May 2017. Book your ticket through Computicket, at the Fugard Theatre box office, or on the Fugard Theatre website, www.thefugard.com.

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