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.

#Woordfees2018: An accurate depiction of reality in Kinnes

March 5, 2018

The theatre-making process and performances have several functions. Whether it be to heal, to build a nation, to create something that is beautiful, or to mark or foster identity, theatre always has a purpose. One such production that fulfils all of the above is Kinnes, a production which debuted at the 2018 US Woordfees. Kinnes was produced by Pedro Kruger for Wordsmith’s Theatre Factor, and is supported by the Distell Foundation.

 

 

The production juxtaposes, compares, contrasts and intersects the lives of five characters. Anwaar gets a taste of fame when he plays a gangster in a Hollywood film, but is he able to distinguish between fact and fiction? Nicole is an exemplary scholar and wants to be successful in life, but quickly learns that true love comes at a price. Derick is an aspiring poet (and great, at that), but can literary ability pay the bills? Mary does what a mother does best by defending her child’s actions, and Rolanda (in between wanting to be a Kardashian, and navigating her way around purchasing a new GHD) tries to be healthy. Though not obvious at first, the interaction between these characters build a foundation for dramatic tension which left audiences shook. 

 

Kinnes was written by Chase Rhys, winner of the Adam and Rosalie Small writers award. His Woordfees success further branched into having one of his short stories, “Wie maak ie jol vol”, in the 2018 Woordfees Kortverhaalbundel. I digress. Hennie van Greunen takes up the director seat, and leads the cast who consists of Shannon Williams, Lindsay Abrahams, Dustin Beck, Dean John Smith and Lee-Ann Van Rooi. Each performer in their own right presented their characters with powerful conviction and through powerful monologues they accurately depicted struggles related to Coloured pain, and the blood-filled streets caused by ongoing gang violence in Cape Flats communities.

 

 

Through its moving storyline, the production focuses on themes related to the interaction between people living in these communities; the faithfulness to hopes, ambitions and dreams; parents in Coloured communities who fail and sometimes refuse to acknowledge issues related to mental health; the absence of father figures; innocent, and sometimes, volatile relationships between teenagers; and, the pain related to unemployment and dropping out of the education system.

 

The production’s lighting design was rapid and instant, and to a certain extent juxtaposed the life of the good versus the life of the bad. Its set design was reflective of the daily doings of the diverse lives of everyday people living in communities. The back of the performance area was covered in photographs of various faces, kinnes, where each face represented a different life. The point: all lives matter, we all have a different story to tell.

 

 

 

Kinnes tells a story which needs to be told. The plot left many audience members in tears. You will cry, so bring those tissues. The cast of Kinnes did their final bow at the HB Thom Theatre’s Laboratorium already, however, the production is scheduled to have performances at KKNK from 29 March to 4 April, as well as the Artscape Arena theatre from 10 to 18 April 2018. 

 

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