Wits Theatre’s annual So Solo Festival is fast becoming a barometer of the predominant undercurrents within SA society — and theatre.
Established by Wits Theatre director Gita Pather in 2013, the festival celebrates the one-person play and the chosen productions this year are among the best in its four-year history.
Identity is a strong theme, with 12 actors interrogating personal histories, values and aspirations against the turbulence of a society in flux.
Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and Penelope Youngleson’s award-winning combination of oral tradition, song, instrumentation and physical theatre in A Man and a Dog will have its first Gauteng showing at the festival.
Also on the programme is Linda Tshabalala’s Books and Boxes, as is James Cairns’ solo improvised show James Cairns Against Humanity.
The production of Agony, conceived by the late Greg Melvill-Smith and Douglas Thistlewhite, will be performed by Wits alumnus Craig Morris. Look out too for Mark Tatham’s new work Man Up.
The So Solo 2017 commissioned play is Tracks, Maude Sandham’s poignant and deeply personal exploration of her family’s history through her grandfather Alan Sandham’s story.
"I have always believed in the power of the word," says Pather. "That power is intensified in performance and never more so than in the solo performer, who for the duration of a performance grabs our attention, forces us to focus, think and reflect."
The So Solo 2017 Festival runs from September 27 to October 8 at Wits Theatre in Braamfontein.
Tickets are available through Web Tickets or directly from the Wits Theatre’s Box Office.