Presented by Here Manje
Written and Directed by: Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, from a story by Nicholas Ellenbogen of ‘Theatre For Africa.”
MEMORY is a story for all ages that speaks about the universal impulse of loving animals and has been created to allow the public into why man has hunted/hunts the elephant.
“They say that somewhere in Africa the elephants have a secret grave where they go to lie down, unburden their wrinkled gray bodies, and soar away, light spirits at the end."
Robert R. McCammon.
“Sit properly!” Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi points at me with an accusatory finger from the small stage. I uncross my legs and straighten my back. He walks to the other side of the stage. “Chest out!” The guy in the second row drops his shoulders and puffs out his chest. Authority has been established. We are here to listen. And what a story there is to be told..."
"I was so moved by this simplistic beauty, by this honest creativity devoid of modern technology that my eyes welled up with tears. The rangers watch over the imagined body of the elephant and sing to her, to Mama Africa, Mama Memory – a song that hits straight to the heart. And so the story starts..."
"We are transported from the small City Hall stage into the African wild. You can smell grass and dirt and blood, you can see the fields changing colour as the sun rises over it. As in nature, nothing is rushed, there is nowhere to go and simply observing the moment is enough... "
"Memory might be sold as family theatre, but you don’t need kids to have a reason to go see this. In a way, this kind of theatre is the purest form of storytelling, as it leaves a significant part to the observer’s imagination and leaves you with strong message to take home...."
Marilu Snyders, Cape Town Fringe Festival 2014.
In Memory the cast of Nomtha Rajuili, Luke Brown, Nhlanhla
Mkhwanazi and Samantha Davies enact a fable that links the stone circles of Africa, the renowned powers of recollection of the elephant and the evolution of mankind, in a pastiche of mime, dance, representation and movement. The performance is minimalist and for young members of an audience should promote and encourage the powers of observation and imagination, qualities that are a vital part of a comprehensive range of life skills. The terrible scourge of poaching is presented from an entirely different angle, that can only but give one pause for thought. The sheer energy and zeal of the players is part of the attraction of Memory and Rajuili intones some of her lines in a voice not unworthy of bel canto. The script is sparing and to the point. This is a production that should have wide appeal to
international audiences in that it is novel and original and mercifully devoid of the angst that still pervades so many theatrical productions that originate in present day South Africa. Memory by Here Manje is a production that can appeal to all ages and is a joy to behold; keep a weather eye out for future productions by this talented group of actors.
Timothy Twidle, The White House Theatre, Plett Fringe Festival, 2014.