This audio-visual installation features audio recordings of contemporary South African monologues (and one scene), performed by some of South Africa’s most exceptional actors and accompanied by photographic portraits of each character. The performed texts have been selected to represent a range of South African identities, perspectives and contexts, and feature seven languages, not all of them official. The intention rather is to capture language as it is spoken, with all the resonance the dynamism of the spoken word carries of history, memory, movement and expression. The evocative photographs offer another avenue to meet the characters who speak these words, and to get a glimpse of the world in which their story takes place and thus more insight into the many, many different lives lived in this complex and diverse country.
Nearly all of these pieces were selected from Between the Pillar and the Post, a multi-lingual anthology of contemporary South African monologues and scenes published by the Market Theatre Laboratory, in partnership with Diartskonageng, in 2019. This ground-breaking new collection offers a broad range of texts, with a particular focus on stories, languages and themes that are under-represented in the South African theatre canon. The intention of this compilation is to reflect the diversity of South African people in the characters and conversations on the page, ensuring that every actor, especially those in student and audition contexts, has the opportunity to perform in their mother tongue, and to work with writing they connect to; that feels current, relatable, and accessible.
Summaries of the pieces will be available in isiXhosa and English, along with some context and history about the language it’s performed in.
Scroll down and click on the monologue titles below to access the character portrait, write ups in English and isiXhosa and the monologue in full.