Getting cultured at the Joburg Theatre

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By ^GZ – I decided to try something new recently; to move away from the occasional Friday turn-up, loud music and meaningless chatter over glasses of alcohol. I wanted to be among the refined and sophisticated so I invited my friend to join me at the Joburg Theatre for the opening night of The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

This is a play starring the extremely talented Aubrey Poo alongside the rest of the stellar cast: Izak Davel, Nyeleti Ndubane, Néka Da Costa, Jacques Wolmarans, Simpho Mathejwa, Mimi Mahlasela and Koketso Motlhabane.

My friend and I were completely not prepared for our special night out at the theatre. So much for planning to have an elaborate theatre night and being cultured at Joburg Theatre, we couldn’t fully immerse ourselves in the experience.

We did not read up on the play before we went to go see it, we did not know what we were walking into, we didn’t have the best seats, and we had drank alcohol on empty stomachs so we were hungry, tipsy and uncomfortable. It was quite disappointing that our evening was not as we would have liked it to be but we promised ourselves that we would go back soon and give theatre another try soon.

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What I can say is that the play is quite relevant to the current affairs in South Africa. Although there are heavy topics presented throughout the story such as assassination, child neglect, and totalitarianism, the tones of the scenes are almost always meant to be humorous. The opening night audience enjoyed the performance throughout and the play itself received rave reviews.

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The Caucasian Chalk Circle begins with a prologue that introduces us to two groups of farmers in dispute over land.The one group wants the land for commercial purposes, while the other group goat herders are claiming the land based on the fact that they were born and have always lived on the land. The two groups of farmers decide to demonstrate their disputes by staging a play for a government expert.

As its heart, The Caucasian Chalk Circle follows two stories, one is that of Grusha, a strong willed, simpleton girl with a big heart and a soft spot for justice. The other is of Adzak, a drunk, oddball judge who mocks the law.

In the play Bertolt Brecht deals with social economic issues that resonate with most societies, more in South Africa. The themes that we can witness in the play include government corruption, land disputes, the gap between the rich and the poor, child neglect and women abuse which are all in the midst amongst other socio economics issues constantly seen in news headlines almost every day.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle directed by Lebohang Motaung will be on The Fringe stage, at Joburg Theatre until 23 April 2017.

Details: http://www.joburgtheatre.com

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