The Magnet Theatre production ‘Voices Made Night’ will be revived by the company and bring some surreal magic to the Baxter Flipside from February 28 to March 23 at 8.15pm nightly.
Adapted from the short stories ‘Vozes Anoitecidas’ by world-renowned Mozambican writer Mia Couto (originally published by Editorial Caminho), the English translation was done by David Brookshaw. Director Mark Fleishman has assembled a formidable cast and creative team to bring to life this reworking of Couto’s imagistic tales. The production scooped top honours in three categories at the 2001 FNB Vita Awards for Best Director, Best Actress and Best Lighting Design.
The ensemble is made up of Jennie Reznek, Faniswa Yisa, Mfundo Tshazibane, Dann-Jaques Mouton, Thando Doni, Chiminae Ball and Richard September. Original music for the production is by Neo Muyanga, movement direction by Jennie Reznek, set design by Craig Leo, costumes by Illka Louw and lighting by Mark Fleishman and Craig Leo.
“When we first read Mia’s stories we were struck by the visually exciting metaphoric images that provide perfect material for our physical style of theatre,” says Fleishman. “His writing is a perfect match for Magnet’s style. The language is dense and multi-layered, providing ample opportunity to tease out the images while making full use of the physical space of the theatre in a way which we hope is profound and arresting for the audience.”
The work of Couto, widely regarded as one of Mozambique’s leading literary luminaries and the most prominent writer in Portuguese-speaking Africa, has been published in more than 20 countries and in several languages. In many of his texts, he undertakes to recreate the Portuguese language by infusing it with regional vocabulary and structures from Mozambique, thus producing a new model for the African narrative. Critics have commended Couto’s prose for its mix of standard Portuguese with the fantastical hallmarks of the oral storytelling culture common to African peoples.
Most recently Magnet Theatre received the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport award for their contribution to arts and culture in the drama category. Recognised as a highly skilled company on the cutting edge, Magnet has been creating its distinctive brand of theatre for the past 25 years. ‘Voices Made Night’ forms part of the company’s quarter-century celebrations and embodies all of Magnet’s orientations with its focus on creative, innovative and sophisticated African theatre which engages with their present condition in Southern Africa. Other productions which the company has staged at the Baxter in recent years include ‘Rain in a Dead Man’s Footprints’, ‘The Fire Raisers’, ‘Cargo’, ‘Every Year, Every Day, I am Walking’ and ‘Inxeba Lomphilisi’.
* Book at Computicket. Visit www.magnettheatre.co.za for more information.