By Melissa Cohen
After a whirlwind couple of months of helming various stage plays, one of Cape Town’s newest, and busiest theatre creators, Phillip Rademeyer, finally got to sit down with me for a long overdue interview.
After completing his undergraduate degree in the States, this Johannesburg born and bred director and writer came back to South Africa to do his honours and masters at UCT in Cape Town, where he discovered his love for writing and directing.
“I have always enjoyed writing poetry and when I came back to Cape Town and furthered my studies, I quickly realised that my passions lay with directing and writing scripts,” elaborates Rademeyer, before going on to mention that he uses theatre as a means of expression and is able to tackle personal issues through the use of storytelling.
Rademeyer decided to take his love for theatre to another level in May last year, when he and Penelope Youngleson joined forces and decided to found their own independent theatre collective, Rust Co-Operative. “We were two young aspiring theatre makers who were interested in telling political, edgy stories through theatre”, he discusses. The artist also mentions that the theatre that they produce is aimed at targeting issues that exist on the fringes of traditional society.
Rust Co-Operative’s most celebrated work ‘The View’ has toured around the country at various theatre festivals and has received rave reviews by all who have seen it. “We are really grateful for the overwhelming response shown towards our play. The script is coming from a place of honesty and I think that many people who have faced a form of loss in their lives will be able to relate,” mentions Rademeyer, with the early spring breeze whirling past his face.
“The play is a simple, yet extremely touching story of a boy who finds himself isolated and lost in his life and is trying to piece it all together again,” he adds. ‘The View’ is a clear depiction of basic humanity; through the characters and the script the audience is meant to connect with the subject matter and the characters on an emotional level.
Actors Gideon Lombard and Ella Gabriel make up the extraordinary acting team at the forefront of this tour de force of theatrical storytelling, with Lombard playing the lead character. Gabriel has the difficult task of channelling twelve different viewpoints in ‘The View’ – she plays twelve (yes, you heard that right) different characters in the play. Between the two of them, this show is not only a profoundly affecting performance, but also a reality driven cathartic experience which should not be missed.
* ‘The View’ is showing at the Artscape Arena from November 24 until November 9. Book at Computicket.