27 June, 2008

REVIEW: Composition Z: The House of Stone

By: Nqobile Buthelezi

IMAGINE... for a moment, a woman whose face looks like a grotesque mask, emerging from the bushes, chanting something that no human language under the sun can make out. She is drapped in torn and dirty clothes. Her song awakens a spirit, an energy that moves somewhere between her and the audience, exerting a cold aura that keeps the ampitheatre chilled. The scene is like enchanted magic!

Composition Z: The house of Stone, enigmatic as it sounds, is an exhilirating production that takes one to a fantastical world where dreams are reality and the essense of reality itself questioned. This play certainly keeps audiences at the edge of their sit, tying to find meaning as they connect to the magical creatures that inhibit the realm.

With its layered complexities, Composition Z is a niche genre of theatre that combines the elements of drama, physical performance and visual imagery. A blend of three characters from different cultural folklores sees the the play resurrect magical beings and a hypnothising act that is certainly one of its kind. Extracted from a Venda folktale, Zwidutwane is a water spirit inhibiting the Phiphidi Falls in Limpopo. Alongside Nai Nai of Eeinaa and Dombo, which are both influencial female protaagonists in the play, the three characters are in constant search for validation and affirmation. Their fate entertwined, they feed into each other's aura becoming one in the eternal struggle to find identity. This characters surely represent those souls who feel lost, watching time pass them by. Intricate use of voice over storytelling and rythmic physical theatre elevate ones senses, weaving deeper the metaphorical representation of the constant batte humankind faces in everyday living.

Emerging writer, director and actor, Awelani Moyo, attained her BA Honours Degree in Directing, Creative Writing (under Reza De Wet) and Acting at Rhodes University. Currently doing her coursework Masters in Contemporary Perfomance, the young Zimbabwean is set to fly high in the industry as she collaborates with leading theatre practitioners.In Composition Z, Moyo represents well the issues of vulnerability, difference, socio-political status of Zim, conflict of identity and ultimately how mankind derive meaning from what they see and hear in their surroundings, most noticeably in situations of displacement.

On the Tittle:
The tittle misleads one to think of a musical theatre piece. More along the lines of Beathovan or Mozart type classical acts. However, Moyo, through her excellent tittle intentionally twists and entices our minds, the every act entwined with the craze in the tale itself. 'Composition Z' may be a derivative for all the meanings, conspiracies we contrive and conceptualise in our minds, trying to find an answer to destiny. We compose possible explanations for our current situations and our possible end. "The House of Stone" perhaps infers to humanity's numbed reaction towards issues that have affected our world, its people, deteriorationg the very essense of Ubuntu, we have come to learn.

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