// A new one-act drama that debuted at the Market Theater in August 2021 //
Greetings fam. I hope you are well, and I know it's been a while since you've heard from us, but we're back (we'll be launching our new website design soon, but before we talk about the new site, let's talk about this new production). A few days ago, I was privileged to have an online conversation with the award-winning Palesa Mazamisa, who is the director of Dusk - a dramatic mystery of murder and memory, set on a farm in rural Limpopo, written by Mark Scheepers and it stars Michelle Douglas and Loyiso MacDonald.
Before I dive into what we talked about, I'd like to provide a brief background behind some of the people that have been involved with this production: Mark Scheepers is a writer and actor who has had two scripts produced for television as part of the Ekasi – Our Stories series. Palesa Mazamisa is an actor, writer and director who won the 2019 Naledi Theatre Awards for Best New South African Script and Best Supporting Actor for her satirical play Shoes & Coups. Michelle Douglas is an actress previously seen in productions including Green Man Flashing, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe and The Revlon Girl. Last but not least, Loyiso MacDonald is an actor best known for his role as Ntando Sibeko in the soap opera Isidingo. He has also appeared in plays including Kiss of the Spider Woman and Othello. It's also great to note that this production was made possible by the generous support from the by Eyesizwe Mining Development Trust. Find more info about the creative team here.
The production has been running at the Market Theatre from the 6th of August, and the last show will be on the 29th of August 2021. Unfortunately tickets are already sold out (I was planning on sponsoring a ticket for the last performance which will take place tomorrow, but I guess we'll have to wait for the next opportunity when they have another production/ perform the same one in a different city/ theater). None the less, the conversation I had with Palesa (the director) was informative and interesting, especially because The Radioactive Blog plans to expand it's coverage on theater and not just poetry, visual art and tech.
Photo cred: Lungelo Mbulwana
The production has received a lot of positive feedback so far, and has been described as "emotionally intense and intriguing". It tackles issues around mental health, abuse, land and violence but ultimately the power of love and forgiveness. These are issues that if not all, then most of us can relate to. Palesa spoke about how she was delighted to be back developing in-person productions, and how she missed the intense and positive experiences with actors and audiences. In as much as the online platforms provide access to a wider audience, the physical events provide tangible experiences that are unique to specific spaces/environments and time, which often cannot be replicated online. It's important note that she was still active during the hard lockdown that prohibited theaters from being open, and I've shared some of her previous amazing work at the end of this article for you to check out. I'm honestly still relatively new to the theater space as a consumer, so I couldn't help but ask about the duration of the production, because most shows I've been to run for about a few days to a week (max). Clearly the Bloemfontein culture is different from the one in Joburg, but it was fascinating to know that a production can run for a whole month (I think it's quite clear that I need to watch more theater productions on a regular basis).
Photo cred: Lungelo Mbulwana
Dusk was not only Palesa's first production for this year, but it was also Loyiso's first stage production after leaving The Queen. I'm sure most of you - who were able to watch the production - were used to seeing him on TV. Audiences have also been exposed to Michelle Douglas, one of South Africa's top actors who we should all keep an eye on, so do look out for more work that she's part of. What I can guarantee is that The Radioactive Blog will keep an eye on more theater productions because this is an industry we want to document and promote more frequently. For the remainder of the year, we plan to explore a wider variety of artforms while sharing information on how the creative sector continues to grind and grow during these challenging times. We all know how devastating the impact of the pandemic has been on the arts, so if you have the capacity to support, please do - I can guarantee that you won't regret it.
Well, that's all for now fam. As stated previously, be on the look out for more content on theater and other creative industries that we will be sharing soon. We will be launching the new website design on the 1st of September, so make sure that you subscribe in order to be one of the first people to check it out. You can find more information about Dusk here as well as other shows taking place at the Market Theater. As promised, you can watch the production directed by Palesa last year called "Lazy Boy" below, and I've also shared a link to "Shoes and Coups" which was produced in 2018. I hope you enjoy the content, and stay blessed fam. @2tukani