Double Star: Gravitational pull of love in relationship play which taps profoundly into the zeitgeist of feeling unhinged- exciting new play by Andi Colombo

Double Star – written and directed by Andi Colombo

Mamello Maketha and Aidan Scott
When: December 1-8, 2022
Where: Masambe Theatre, Baxter, Cape Town
Tickets:  R100-R120

Bravo to Andi Colombo for her play Double Star which is on in the Baxter’s Masambe Theatre. This is the premiere season of the play. The short run wraps up December 8, 2022- so try and get there. I loved the spirited dialogue and nuanced and measured performances by Mamello Maketha and Aidan Scott as Jess and Lu- twenty-something millennials who hook up in February of 2020, shortly before Covid and lockdown orbited into our little planet. 

Double Star is a relationship play and taps profoundly into the zeitgeist of feeling unhinged right now, as we navigate through the post Covid burnout (well, Covid is still with us but we are no longer in lockdown; let us hope that we are done with lockdowns). The protagonists circle around each other in a world on a pivot of anxiety and grief and the noise – apps pinging, voices on the phone, clatter of conversations – words said and not said- silences. There is the stuff we say and the stuff that is circuited around and the fact that not everyone can or will engage. The looping narrative; wrapping around itself, mirrors the dissonance of our times in our universe. The play taps powerfully into the notion of people being together but apart and the search to find the illusive love story and happy ending.

The title of the play, Double Star references Two Star theory: Two stars that lie very close to, and are often orbiting, each other […] gravitationally bound together. Usually, such stars orbit so closely that they appear as a single point of light.” Double Star is an intelligent look at the ties and conventions that bind us – marriage, social engagements, friendships, and family – and how we try to clutch onto it all- feeding off each other’s light and energy- positive and negative. However, there is burn out and what may appear as a bright and viable may be two disparate stars which are galaxies way from each other. We are small and insignificant but we seek love and companionship Colombo told me that this play was inspired by a bad break-up but has been fictionalised. Many people will relate – personally or in relation to people that they know. We can all relate in terms of how we chart our way through relationships on many levels –romantic, family, friend groups-  aligning our stars as best as we can.  

This is a new play and there is scope to expanded develop it further. I understand that Covid was the impetus for its germination but I feel that the framing with Covid voice-overs could be re-worked to give the pay a more timeless vibe. I was charmed by the production design and hipster costume detail and footwear – Aidan Scott’s Jess in socks and sandals (differently coloured socks- fabulous) and Mamello Maketha’s Liu in sandals with transparent cladding (Perspex or plastic?). A wonderful voice in playwriting: Andi Colombo. I look forward to more plays by this young and talented theatre maker.

On ya phone: Aiden Scott in Double Star – written and directed by Andi Colombo. This pic taken, before the performance on December 5, 2022, Baxter Masambe Theatre, Cape Town. In the background- Mamello Maketha. Pic: Robyn Cohen/TheCapeRobyn.