The Red in the Rainbow at The Soweto Theatre
Tebogo Ditinti: Pause: It was said to be one of the most anticipated plays to ever come to the Soweto Theatre.
Presented by Arts Alive International Festival and Diartskonageng.
Written and directed by Monageng Vice Motshabi. Starring Tshireletso Nkoane, Dambuza Nqumashe, Thapelo Motsikoe, Thato Malebye, Xolile Gama.
Sydney Mavundla and Volley Nchabeleng formed a two-man band.
The Red in the Rainbow is theatre in its purest form. Based on real life events of a young black man who was killed by a white boy and his friends for supposedly stealing from their farm. In South Africa alone, such stories are way too many to count and telling just one of them is like telling all of them, one story reminds you of another.
This magnificent production takes us through the aftermath of such a tragedy. We see Tshireletso Nkoane as Dorah, a grief-stricken mother who wants to ensure that her late son Tumelo rests peacefully. The process of a mother going to collect her son’s spirit from where he took his last breath was way too familiar for most of us watching. The wailing from the gut, falling to her knees as any grieving mother would, the speaking to the ancestors and calling out for anyone, anywhere hoping someone will hear her cry.
The gathering of the soil soaked in blood on the ground was vivid in my mind. It was as if I had experienced that in reality. Nkoane took us on a journey of a grieving mother. The use of the Buffalo Thorn Tree also known as Umlahlankosi or Mokgalo was befitting. The tree is also known in many different names but used for a single purpose, to take the spirit home. Where we see Petrus, Dorah’s husband played by the talented Dambuza Nqumashe, fight her in every way due to different belief systems. He just wanted to go to church and talk to his priest.
The Red in the Rainbow is beautifully written and excellently directed. The entire cast takes the story to another level entirely. The leading ladies are exactly that. Leading. Tshireletso Nkoane and Thato Malebye elevate, it is almost as if they carry their cast members only to bring out pure excellence out of them. The set is just 5 black blocks, no mics and very few props, a pack and go type of production. Everyone was audible in perfect pitch; the use of language was crisp. I could hear that Zulu accent in Xolile Gama, however his fluent Tswana still laced his speech ever so effortlessly.
Silence: The Red in the Rainbow is splendid. I extend my gratitude to the writer and director. Every single one of the cast members, they are all outstanding talents. They don’t make theatre like that anymore.
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