Pepper’s Ghost at the Centre for the Less Good Idea

The Centre for the Less Good Idea

How does text perform? What would happen were we to isolate and expand upon the rhythm or cadence of a particular piece of prose? Books, poems, court transcripts, Wikipedia entries, songs, commission reports and more serve as points of departure for Season 7 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea.

In a time where our physical ability to be with one another has been restricted, this online programme merges performance, installation, and free-flowing physical experimentation, filmed at the Centre.

The Pepper’s Ghost is a shrewd optical illusion disguised as a hologram, a mirror, or a plain sheet of glass. Coupled with hi-resolution video filming and editing technology, as well as projection and live performance, the Pepper’s Ghost allows for the absurd meeting of analogue and digital technologies to put forward a theatrical experience that draws on the power of illusion and distorted or fabricated ways of seeing. From a mystery creature from the mind of Franz Kafka, an avant-garde verse drama by a Soviet playwright, to an experimental take on a Shakespearean soliloquy, these are some of the moments that occupy the world of the Pepper’s Ghost.

  • Genre: Illusion
  • Format: Video/Webinar
  • Duration: 1hr 20mins
  • Language: English & isiZulu
  • Ages: 16+
  • Available From: July 3, 2020

Content no longer available.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

PROGRAMME

ODRADEK
Adapted from | Franz Kafka’s The Cares of a Family Man
Performed by | Ameera Patel & Frances Slabolepszy
Music by | Clare Loveday & Bongile Lecoge-Zulu
Cinematography by | Duško Marović SASC
Video Editing & Compositing by | Žana Marović

MAYAKOVSKY: THE TRAGEDY
Text from | Vladimir Mayakovsky
Conceptualised & Directed by | William Kentridge Performed by | Katlego KayGee Letsholonyana
Cinematography by | Duško Marović SASC
Video Editing & Compositing by | Janus Fouché

SPACTRAL
Text from | William Shakespeare’s Macbeth
Performed by | Thami Majela, Kaldi Makutike & Michael Mazibuko
Cinematography by | Duško Marović SASC
Video Editing & Compositing by | Žana Marović

AN OUTPOST OF PROGRESS
Written by | Joseph Conrad
Performed by | Neil McCarthy, Antony Coleman & Bongile Lecoge-Zulu
Cinematography by | Duško Marović SASC
Video Editing & Compositing by | Žana Marović

KEYS TO A GREAT POETIC GAME
Text extracts from | René Daumal’s Le Contre-Ciel
Performed by | Sibahle Mangena
Directed by | Phala Ookeditse Phala
Cinematography by | Duško Marović SASC
Video Editing & Compositing by | Žana Marović

TEA & BAE
Conceptualised, Directed & Performed by | Molebogeng Phiri & Kaldi Makutike.
Cinematography by | Duško Marović SASC

PRODUCTION FOR THE CENTRE
Season 7 curators | Phala Ookeditse Phala & William Kentridge
Animateur for the Centre | Phala Ookeditse Phala
Co-director for the Centre | Bronwyn Lace
Editor & Director of Photography | Noah Cohen
Production Manager | Shruthi Nair
Administrator & Stage Manager | Dimakatso Motholo
Housekeeping & Space Manager | Gracious Dube

 

PRODUCTION FOR THE ONLINE WORK
CINEMATOGRAPHER

Duško Marović, SASC

CAMERA OPERATORS
Noah Cohen
Bukhosibakhe Kelvin Khoza

LIGHTING DESIGN
Wesley France

LIGHTING & LIGHTING OPERATORS
Matthews Phala
Themba Mthimkulu
Rendani Gelebe
Gearhouse Splitbeam (Pty) Ltd

SOUND ENGINEERS
Kyle Leist
Izak Johannes Schoombie
Zain Vally
Gavan Eckhart
SoulFire Studio (Pty) Ltd

EDITORS
Noah Cohen
Janus Fouché
Žana Marović

PHOTOGRAPHERS
Zivanai Matangi
Stella Olivier

COSTUMES & PROPS
SO Academy mentor | Greta Goiris
SO Academy assistant | Emmanuelle Erhart
SO Academy mentees | Andrea van der Kuil, Duduzile Mathebula, Helena Uambembe, Angelinah Maponya, Unathi Mkonto, Nthabiseng Malaka
Academy manager | Dimakatso Motholo

PEPPER’S GHOST STAGE DESIGN & BUILD
Wesley France
Chris-Waldo de Wet
Jacques van Staden
Diego Sillands

WRITER
Dave Mann

Special thanks: Linda Leibowitz, Natalie Dembo, Anne McIlleron, Anne Blom, Joy Lowden, Chris-Waldo de Wet, Diego Sillands, Jacques van Staden and Joey Metshiombo

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Clare Loveday is a contemporary classical music composer, educator, and researcher. Taking her inspiration from poetic and academic texts alike, Loveday arrives at Season 7 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea with the intention to explore the presence of silence in music, as well as the inherent absurdity of writing about music.
Season 7’s workshopping sessions also saw Loveday collaborating widely, exploring physical and musical performance, as well as experimenting with responsive musical performance alongside the analogue and digital technologies of the Pepper’s Ghost.

Ameera Patel is an actress, writer, poet and performing artist. While Patel arrived at Season 7 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea wanting to explore the presence of secrets and food in works of fiction, it is The Cares of a Family Man by Franz Kafka that now serves as Patel’s primary point of departure during the season. This Season’s workshopping sessions saw Patel collaborating with fellow writers and performers in varying capacities, as well as experimenting with the aesthetics of this Season’s Broken Instruments and Pepper’s Ghost technologies.

Frances Slabolepszy is a writer, director, and performing artist. Early rock art outside of Kimberly, Stephen King’s On Writing, and the writings of Patti Smith are a few of the pre-existing texts that serve as inspiration for the theatrical explorations of Slabolepszy at The Centre for the Less Good Idea. It is the myriad analyses of The Odradek — a creature from Kafka’s The Cares of a Family Man — that Slabolepszy builds her Season 7 work upon.

Katlego Lethsolonyana is a writer, director, and performing artist. Letsholonyana joins Season 7 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea with an interest in oral histories and the textuality of vocal storytelling. Working with a pre-recorded and spoken text of his own making, Letsholonyana aims to further explore the performative nature of language, listening, and storytelling.
In addition to his own explorations, Letsholonyana also collaborated with fellow writers and performers on a number of pieces across the Season’s workshopping sessions, as well as experimenting with the possibilities of performing text using The Centre’s collection of Broken Instruments.

Sibahle Mangena is a writer, actor, and theatre-maker. Joining Season 7 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea with a desire to explore the process of writing or producing text, Mangena’s experimentations saw her experimenting with the fractal and multi-faceted nature of film and live performance as it appears through the medium of the Pepper’s Ghost.
Season 7’s workshopping sessions also saw Mangena lending her skills to various productions by fellow collaborators across the realms of performance.

Thami Majela is an actor, dancer, and performing artist. Joining The Centre for the Less Good Idea’s 7th Season with a desire to explore the affective nature of the written word, Majela uses William Shakespeare’s Macbeth as a text to unpack through live performance and film using the Pepper’s Ghost. The multiple uses and meanings of a single word also interest Majela.
Season 7’s workshopping sessions saw Majela lending his skills to the works of fellow performers, and interrogating the text we employ through speech on a daily basis, and how it impacts our lives.

Michael Mazibuko is an actor and theatre-maker who works across stage and television. With a keen interest in classical theatrical texts and a background in the works of William Shakespeare, Mazibuko joins Season 7 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea with a desire to experiment with the theatrical monologue in an interdisciplinary setting. Season 7’s workshopping sessions saw Mazibuko working with fellow artists and performers in order to push the boundaries of text and language in the realms of performance.

Bongile Lecoge-Zulu is an actor, writer, flautist, and performing artist. Having worked with The Centre for the Less Good Idea on its previous Seasons, Lecoge-Zulu joins Season 7 not with a specific text, but rather with the intention to explore the many forms a text can take and how those forms can be presented on stage. As such, Lecoge-Zulu spent this Season’s workshopping sessions collaborating with fellow musicians and performers on texts drawn from works of fiction, religion, and everyday life alike.

Neil McCarthy is an actor, writer, director, and producer who works across stage and film.
Using writer Joseph Conrad’s text An Outpost of Progress as a point of departure, McCarthy joins The Centre for the Less Good Idea’s 7th Season with an interest in exploring the themes of coloniality, satire, and futility through a work of fiction.
Season 7’s workshopping sessions saw McCarthy lending his skills to fellow performers’ work, as well as experimenting with the carnivalesque and pervading qualities of The Pepper’s Ghost, as well as the inherent performative nature of reading a text aloud.

Antony Coleman is an actor working across television, film, and stage.
Coleman joins Season 7 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea with Patrick Süskind’s The Pigeon as a found text, as well as the writings of Franz Kafka, exploring anxiety, animality, absurdism, and paranoia as themes.
Season 7’s workshopping sessions also saw Coleman lending his skills as an actor to filmic elements of The Pepper’s Ghost performances, exploring physicality through the medium of film.

Molebogeng Phiri is an actor, singer, and dancer who has performed on both stage and television. Season 7 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea sees Phiri grappling with the prevalence of mental illness, harnessing pre-existing texts such as diary entries and transcripts of therapy sessions, sourced from public archives. In addition to collaborating with artists across various modes and media, Phiri used this Season’s workshopping sessions to further experiment with language and the mind through the use of the body and the voice.

Kaldi Makutike is a dancer, actor, and performing artist. Makutike’s areas of exploration throughout Season 7 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea draw inspiration from texts and prompts such as Athol Fugard’s Nongogo, and the embedded narratives of the body. Season 7’s workshopping sessions saw Makutike collaborating across various genres and modes of performance, as well as experimenting with the possibilities of analogue and digital live performance through the Pepper’s Ghost.

Žana Marović is a video editor and compositor working across the realms of fine-art, film, and television. Having worked with both William Kentridge and The Centre for the Less Good Idea in varying capacities over the years, Marović joins Season 7 with an interest in exploring visual storytelling through the hybrid analogue and digital framework of the Pepper’s Ghost. Marović also lent her skills to many of Season 7’s collaborators across the workshopping sessions, helping to bring to life the myriad ideas and experimentations through the Pepper’s Ghost.

Duško Marović is a cinematographer who works across the realms of film, television, documentary, fine-art, and more. Having first worked with The Centre for the Less Good Idea in Season 1, Marović is no stranger to its process of free-spirited, interdisciplinary collaboration. Season 7 now sees Marović collaborating on a project using the hybrid analogue and digital framework of the Pepper’s Ghost. Over the course of Season 7’s workshops, Marović also lent his cinematography skills to a number of collaborators, helping to film their performances and experimentations in order to be brought to life through the Pepper’s Ghost.

Janus Fouché is a digital artist working in immersive interactive sound installations, virtual reality & animation, and self-organizing biological systems. A frequent collaborator at The Centre for the Less Good Idea, Fouché joins Season 7 with the intention of exploring Jorge Luis Borges’ Library of Babel through the technologies of the Pepper’s Ghost. In addition to his own piece, Fouché also lent his skills to the works of his fellow collaborators over the course of Season 7’s workshops, helping to place their ideas and experimentations inside the framework of the Pepper’s Ghost.