Entertainment / Arts And Books

Genevieve Vieira
1 minute read
3 Aug 2014
12:00 pm

Theatre raises awareness in new play

Genevieve Vieira

The Revealers is untypical of most shows staged at the National Children's Theatre.

From left, Dhaveshan Govender, Devon Flemmer and Brinsley Motsepe. Picture: Supplied.

This is not to say that the show is altogether bad, per-se, but it is far more serious than most.

An anti-bullying production adapted from the play by Doug Wilhelm of the same name, these are issues present in every school, local as much as international. Although based on an American story, director Francois Theron does his best to give it a local flavour.

Still it just doesn’t seem to work.

Parkland Middle School is a place the students call Darkland. No one does much to stop the daily harassment of kids by kids.

Three bullied seventh graders use their smarts by starting an unofficial email forum in which they publicise their ordeals, hoping to pull at the heartstrings of their readers and get people talking.

From left, Rhee Manganyi,  Taheera April and Nomonde Matiwane. Picture: supplied

From left, Rhee Manganyi,
Taheera April and Nomonde Matiwane. Picture: supplied

They call themselves “The Revealers” and soon dozens of affected kids confess their stories to show how bad the conflict really is.

With the cast being significantly older than the characters they play, it comes across far gloomier than it should. The characters feel like criminals rather than unruly children.

While I applaud the theatre for raising the much-needed awareness, and I get that the message is meant to be more powerful than the entertainment value, but I’m not sold on this one.

The children in the audience laugh at the most inopportune times – during teasing and name-calling – I have doubts that the message is efficaciously being received.

Info:

Cast: Gamelij le Bovana, Sean Louw, Taheera April

Director: Francois Theron

Venue: National Children’s Theatre, until August 9