BWW Review: A MAN OF GOOD HOPE at ASB Waterfront Theatre
The standing ovation and three curtain calls were just a 'drop in the bucket' as a fitting tribute to the superb performance of 'A Man of Good Hope' at ASB Waterfront Theatre last night. Part of the Auckland Arts Festival, this performance is nothing short of fabulous. If you can go, you must, if you can't, find a way!
I've just ordered the book 'A Man of Good Hope' by Jonny Steinberg as I want to savour any morsel I can from this incredible show.
This performance not only circumnavigated around my heart several times but captured it in a willing surrender of raw emotional energy.
I have never seen or experienced anything quite like it.
The voices were simply stunning best described as a unique style of opera and jazz.
The raw, basal emotion that was produced from the carefully crafted vocal sounds was simply incredible; dynamics like I've never seen before.
The connectivity of human experience from the stage to each audience member was something that you could understand only by being there.
When there was silence on stage during some of the most emotionally electrical moments it seemed like the audience were not able to breathe, we were all connected in the humanity of those moments and the silence was deafening.
The dynamics of the harmonies created raw emotion. The control of volume and pitch was sublime.
'A Man of Good Hope' is delivered in a sophisticated simplicity.
It is a tale of human struggle and resilience gives hope to the human spirit.
It's educational, I learned so much about the clan system and the impact of the division of Africa into countries at the hand of the Europeans.
It's confronting, issues of female mutilation, children having to survive alone and the violence just to name a few.
It's an exquisite piece of art. The performers are singers, dancers, actors and musicians and flow between the forms with simplicity of ease performing with a unique sophistication that I've never seen before.
It's a deep expression of the human condition highlighting the strength that we can find, even children in the face of the most frightening and harrowing conditions.
The marimbas are fabulous and played with a magnificent skill and again the performers make it seem so simple but it's not. Not at all.
The set is made up of a raked stage surrounded by corrugated iron with the marimbas arranged on each side. It's clever.
The props are so cleverly used they deserve a mention on their own. Another example of sophistication in their use and simple in design.
The choreography is energetic and very 'real' supporting the emotion of the music to perfection.
Dressed in an array of 'real life' clothing the performers are earthly real. Their raw energy, superb skills and huge talent is what makes this show 'work'. I feel compelled to name and honour each of these multi-talented human beings. They are:
Mandisi Dyantyis, Siphosethu Hintsho, Philelo Asakhe Makitle,
Zanele Gracious Mbatha, Zoleka Mpotsha, Thandolwethu Mzembe Siyanda Ncobo, Philani Xhaga, Melikhaya Edward Ntshuntshe, Zamile Christopher Gantana,
Zimkhitha Mathomane, Ayanda Siyabonga Tikolo, Masixole Mgugunyeka,
Cikizwa Rolomana, Sonwabo George Ntshata, Nonkululeko Nkwinti,
Sinethemba Mdena, Thobile Jim Dyasi, Nombongo Wendy Fatyi,
Nolubabalo Mdayi, Masakana Cecil Sotayisi, Nontsusa, Louw.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, all for this truly incredible theatrical experience.