The Caucasian Chalk Circle Coming to Joburg Theatre
Directed by Lebohang Motaung
Relevant to the current affairs in South Africa and to some extent to any society in the world, The Caucasian Chalk Circle will be at Joburg Theatre from 5 – 23 April 2017. Featuring a stellar cast including Aubrey Poo, Izak Davel, , Nyeleti Ndubane, Néka Da Costa, Jacques Wolmarans , Simpho Mathejwa, Mimi Mahlasela, Koketso Motlhabane; The Caucasian Chalk Circle is set in a play-within-a-play structure, which helps promote the use of Brecht’s epic theatre techniques.
In a made-up town, Grusinia, a government expert is sent to sort out a land dispute between two groups of farmers. The themes include government corruption, land disputes, the gap between the rich and the poor, child neglect and women abuse, in the midst of other socio economic issues constantly seen in news headlines almost every day. Although there are heavy topics presented throughout the story, such as assassination, child neglect, and totalitarianism, the tones of the scenes are almost always meant to be humorous. Various accents are kept close to contemporary South Africa, without changing the meaning in Brecht’s original text.
Bertolt Brecht’s sentiment that the audience should arrive at a decision to change the world they live in, and not walk away with a feeling of mere catharsis are kept in the play. The audience will be drawn to the South Africa of today, while listening to the text in the way Brecht intended, but with familiar accents that one might find in South Africa’s contemporary surroundings.