Fracking Drama and Other Arty Endeavours

Raynie and I

Raynie and I

I’m starting to feel like a performing artist again for the first time in at least 6 months. The month of January has once again kick-started my love and passion for performing, creating music and writing poetry. There are 3 main areas of focus that I’m working on currently.

Skalie Skinnerstories Tref Stoffontein

DEURBRAAKThe first of which is a brand new Afrikaans musical called Skalie Skinnerstories Tref Stoffontein (Fracking Gossip Hits Dustville) that is making its debut at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (Klein Karoo National Arts Festival – KKNK) in April. The play is being written and directed by Kanna award winner Schalk van der Merwe (who was also one of my Theatre Studies lecturers when I was studying Drama) with music written by Lucas Heinen. The show also features an ensemble cast of very talented actor/singers and musicians and is being administered by Christine Falck (owner of Aan de Braak Theatre and brainchild of the Deurbraak initiative – whose goal it is to expose young performing artists).

The play follows the story of a small fictional town in the Karoo (Stoffontein) in the Northern Cape of South Africa that is threatened by Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) when its Mayor discovers that this process may produce extensive financial returns for him and his business associates. Conflict follows as the town’s inhabitants are confronted with the dangers that fracking might produce for their water supply and surrounding ecosystem. If you’re unfamiliar with fracking, you can click here to learn more.

I play an elderly character who, alongside his wife; retell the story of what actually happened by means of a series of YouTube videos.

Now even though the premise for the play is exceedingly deep and dramatic, the show itself is very lighthearted and comedic. Needless to say, I am very happy to be part of this great show – especially since the last time I appeared in a musical, was during the 2010-2011 Summer season run of The Cape Town Show where I played the principle role.

There are few things in life that beat the feeling of acting in a musical alongside a cast of very talented individuals. It occurs to me at every rehearsal that I am working with vastly gifted and skilled performers – I don’t think they are aware of how good they all are. In fact, doing what I love and what I thought at one point was a dead end is actually making me feel more alive than I have felt in ages! What’s more is that the show is in Afrikaans, my second language – which usually proves to be a challenge. Fortunately I don’t have that much dialogue other than the words, “Ja, Mamma” (Yes, Mother) which in itself is proving to be a test in comic timing.

Gemengde Oorsprong: Hemel in Aardse Kruike

Raynie at InZync Poetry Slam

Reinhart Rymhard

My second area of focus is my first official festival performance under my own name entitled Gemengde Oorsprong: Hemel in Aardse Kruike (Mixed Heritage: Heaven in Earthen Vessels). This is also an Afrikaans show written especially for the Woordfees (Word Festival) happening on the 2nd March alongside my partner in crime and poet friend Raynard Stander (Reinhart Rymhard) and my girlfriend Sam Petersen. Here is a short break down on what it’s about:

“Poet Raynard Stander and songwriter/bassist Josh Prinsloo present a unique showcase that explores the intricacies of the human condition, attempting to outline everyman’s life journey using a fresh Afrikaans idiom that fuses poetry and hip hop with the age old jazz tradition. “

I’ve been gunning to finish the text for this show by the end of January and it’s well on its way to being complete. Sam and I completed a funny satirical song this weekend called Meer as Bruin (More than Brown) – a commentary on what it means to be mixed race. This is our third collaboration as a songwriting partnership with the other two songs being composed about two years ago for the Deurbraak festival. I’ve also written a poem called An Ode to Jazz – Mistaken Identity which will also form part of the show, which you can read here.

The hardest part about putting the show together so far is the Afrikaans element, because my vocabulary is not as large as someone who is a first language speaker. This however is the least of my worries, my two main accompanists have pulled out of the show due to getting booked by other artists on the night of the show and even though I had first preference. So far I have only secured another drummer – David Dos Santos (of my band Brother & Brother and The Lua Union) and am still looking for someone to fill the main chordal instrument spot. Because the show has a strong jazz element, I still need to find someone if up for the task and who actually wants to be part of the show. Will keep you updated.

Lastly, I have an audition coming up for a very well known musical – and I feel a little more than intimidated.

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