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This is the LitNet archive (2006–2012)
Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za

Vermaak | Entertainment > Teater | Theatre > Resensies | Reviews

Every Year, Every Day, I am Walking

Anton Krueger - 2007-07-02

Over the years I’ve heard a lot about Mark Fleishmann, so I was glad finally to see my first ever Magnet Theatre production. I wasn’t disappointed.

Everything I’d read about Fleishmann’s emphasis on the importance of the visceral and visual elements of performance is elegantly accentuated in this moving production about a little girl and her mother fleeing from the violence and despair of their homeland. It’s a story told with powerful simplicity by means of a series of potent images, resulting in a poetic and restrained tone. At many times the narrative of the story could easily go just that little bit too far into melodrama or sentimentality, but every time the tension is carefully controlled and the energy released into the next beat.

In his essay, “Physical Images in the South African Theatre” (1996), Fleishmann suggests that “the written word on its own is woefully inadequate to portray or explain the full complexity” of South African – or, indeed, any – reality. His plays, consequently, involve a great deal more than a well-wrought text. Instead, the heart of his productions rests on the physical; on the sensory; and on the embodiment of what (one hesitates to call) a spiritual dimension. He places a particular emphasis on gesture and movement, since dance contains “the idea of untranslatability, of being able to house things that language can’t”. And this is exactly what one gets in this production: an “untranslatability” which cannot be adequately conveyed in a review such as this.

The show appeals to a great many senses and includes a mesmerising background score by Neo Muyanga, while offering a continuously changing visual aesthetic, as well as a range of nuanced textures involving a versatile array of props. Jennie Reznek plays her various parts with precision and presence, demonstrating an astonishing range in a captivating performance.

The United Nations officially acknowledged the 40 million displaced peoples of the world on World Refugee Day (20 June). If you’ve never given a moment’s thought to those forced to flee their motherlands, this gentle reminder might be what you need. But don’t expect pedantic preaching; don’t expect weighty monologues; don’t expect drawing-room drama. Expect to be transformed.

Magnet Theatre presents Every Year, Every Day, I am Walking directed by Mark Fleishman at the Main Festival, National Arts Festival.

First published by: cue.ru.ac.za