'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

30 September 2015

Macbeth Sung in the Congo

19th September 2015 Playhouse QPAC

Not often am I on my feet at the end of a production yelling repeatedly and applauding until it hurts, but last night's Macbeth by Third World Bunfight from South Africa was such a well deserved occasion. Brought here by the Brisbane Festival it was a unique experience. Take Verdi's opera and pare it down for 10 singers and the 20 piece No Borders Orchestra. Infuse it with occasional African rhythms and reset it in war torn Congo with Generals, rapes, western businessmen as the witches, brilliant animated projections and some horrifying photographs and a set consisting of two sheets of corrugated iron amazingly lit and you have a stunning and emotional piece of theatre. Then on top of this you add some amazing voices. 

Owen Metsileng as Macbeth had one of the the most powerful Baritone voices I have heard. Rich booming and just engulfing to listen to. 

The Lady Macbeth was the equally amazing Nobulumko Mngxekeza whose range seemed to go from Soprano right down through Mezzo to Contralto. Powerful, beautiful and she saved one of those great high notes for towards the end. It was dramatic and overwhelming at times when it produced the huge sound of a full chorus and huge orchestra although there were a mere 30 people involved on stage. The orchestra also played to one side on stage. According to an Italian friend the normal Italian phrasing was used but the surtitles projected on the set were translated in a more modern idion like Macbeth exclaiming "I'm fucked now'. There was a lot of that which made it so real. Huge praise from everyone I met for this most exciting and true presentation. 

After the Brisbane Festival they travelled this production on to:-
Hamburg – Kampnagel Internationale Kulturfabrik September 24 – 26
Buenos Aires – FIBA October 4 & 5
Santiago de Chile October 9 & 10

After the show I went back to the bars and stalls at Arcadia again for another drink and to mull over the evening, ran into some terribly enthusiastic audience members from Sydney and also saw Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP there with friends. I noticed she had also been at the Pride Fair that day so she is still making a great Queensland Premier and Arts Minister.
Three of the fabulous guys enjoying a drink at Arcadia (Brisbane Festival) after a performance. I was there several nights after going to shows. Sandile Kamle, Siphesihle Mdena and Owen Metsileng (Macbeth on the right and now a friend on facebook) .

THIRD WORLD BUNFIGHT presents the diverse works of South African artist, Brett Bailey:
theatre productions, installations, operas, house music shows, and site-specific performances.
His idiosyncratic, iconoclastic works focus a probing lens on the world we live in; in particular the post-colonial landscape of Africa, and the historical and contemporary relations between Africa and the West.

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