Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Review: An evening of comedic plays at Mantlwaneng

As part of the Maitisong Festival, Westwood International School presented an Evening of Comedy with, Il Fornicazione, (The Adulteress), by Michael Green, which revolves around a Countess, her husband and young lover and Hard Candy, a play by Jonathan Rand, satirising job interviews.
To spoof comedy fans, amateur theatre in England has embraced the goofiness in a method of acting termed coarse acting. Coarse acting is characterised by overacting on a grand scale, padding ones? performances along the way, illicitly attracting audiences? attention. Overacting is also popular in informal Tswana theatre. Course acting can also be just the opposite, under acting.

The one act coarse opera Il Fornicazione, starts with an apology from the orchestra conductor, played by Merwan Hade. His ensemble of musicians, are absent except the triangle player but the show must go on, he says.

He goes on to fervently conduct the absent orchestra, in a piece that is rounded with a single ting by the triangle player. The heroine, Countess Formaggio, played by Mogi Belai, lolls about and melodramatically sings I am weary. Kira Wiles, who plays The Countess? listless maid, miserably echoing ?she is weary.?

The play makes fun of storylines and seriousness in opera. The female lead characters are always weary. The ?small houses? (extra marital lovers) always pathetically vow to die, if they never see their philandering beloved exclusively. Then they all die.
In this play, the death scene is drawn out with the dying Count, who has been poisoned by his wife, proclaiming that the smell of death enters his nostrils. He then rises to acknowledge his wife?s lover, who is his son, from a previous marriage. He then dies (again) with the smell of death upon his nostrils once again.

Hard Candy shows numerous personalities in job interviews for a post at Banff Enterprises using a variety of tricks ranging from mind control, bribery, blackmail and nepotism to nick the job.

It was amusing to see personalities that abound in the work environment, the overachiever with seven degrees, the ?looker? who uses sex to get ahead, the autocratic dictator and an over-enthusiastic secretary who turns despondent.

The light-hearted plays were well chosen for the student cast. The main fault, apparently, was in Hard Candy, where dialogue occasionally lost clarity.


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