|Flughafen- the play |
Writer/director: Alice Viskat
Cast: Melissa Pretorius, Lee van der Merwe, Josh ‘Yoshe’ Riley, Mihir Soni, Laura Kelly
When: November 15 – 19, 2023
Where: The Outlore Base, 80 Hout St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000
Direct booking link: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/235693-flughafen/?ref=events-list#/
Five humans are “trapped in an airport, where nothing is at it seems”, says Alice Viskat about Flughafen, the new play that she has written and directs. I was intrigued and asked Viskat for insight into the play. Flughafen, she reflects was inspired by her own bizarre airport experiences- on two opposite sides of the world- “stranger than fiction”. Feeding into that is her wanting to write and image female rage and grief, on stage, without it being glossed or muted. “I feel that women’s intense feelings that I have seen represented in the media, in live theatre, film, tends to be over sexualised and over romanticised. You have to look pretty. It’s usually watered down and a massive disservice to women and female actors. I wanted to write something for a long time about dealing with real female rage and insanity and making something which is not pretty; something which gives the audience an opportunity to see something real and also give the actor an opportunity to sink their teeth into a role and that they don’t have to feel edited – for an aesthetic.” Read on for more about the debut season of this new play:
We’ve all been there. You’re in an airport in the middle of the night with four strangers. Your flight’s been delayed, perhaps indefinitely. Outside the windows, a tempest rages that reflects your inner state-of-mind. Tentatively, you reach out to chat to your neighbours. Are you fated to remember this night forever? What strange forces brought you all to this German terminal? What sweet and terrifying secrets will you learn about each other before the night is through?
Conjoining elements of screwball comedy and thrilling, psychological twists, Flughafen is a new theatrical experience from the runaway imagination of Alice Viskat and a quintet of the wildest young acting talents in the Cape. At turns claustrophobic and liberating, whimsical and tense, the play is a locked-room mystery quite unlike anything you’ve set your mind to on a South African stage. Think Knives Out meets The Americans in purgatory. You’ll probably want to come back to see it more than twice…
In the meantime, snatch your seats already for the debut run at The Outlore Base on Hout Street from the November 15-19, 2023. Tickets available for R150 on Quicket. This time next year you’ll be bragging you got to see it before it swept into Makhanda… or even Edinburgh.
Director and writer of Flughafen, Alice Viskat, is no stranger to the stage and has been acting, singing and dancing her way under the proscenium arch since she was three years old, when she made her acting debut playing the cameo roles of a fairy, a pig and a clam. She went on to study at the Waterfront Theatre School where she graduated in 2020, decorated with many awards including Most Exceptional Ballet Dancer. She then broadened her horizons and went into film, starring in Resident Evil (Netflix) and Boetie Boer (Showmax), amongst others. She also started and is the sole-owner of the most successful comedy event company in the Western Cape, Evil Comedy, and is a successful stand-up comic herself. Flughafen is a twisted tapestry of her own harrowing airport experiences intertwined with a bit of the weird and wonderful workings of her mind.
Melissa Pretorius – “Lucy”
Lead actress, Melissa Pretorius (MelFunktion), is an Actress and Singer/Songwriter from Cape Town. She has worked with well-known Producer, Gabi Le Roux and has performed with Kwaito legends General GTZ from Chiskop and the late Mandoza. She also spent multiple years as a resident performer at Stardust Theatrical dining. Mel ventured into the world of acting and did the Acting Technique 1 Short Course with Bonnie Rodini, she then studied at The Cape Academy of Dramatic Arts, she has her LAMDA Level 3 Certificate in Performance (Grade7) with Distinction and completed a BA Degree in Acting for camera at City Varsity in 2019. She has appeared on well-known shows like Arendsvlei as Jessie/Detective Cornelia, the hit comedy series Tali’s Joburg Diary as Chloe on Showmax and is in the third season of Projek Dina on Kyknet. She also fronts a cover band and is a qualified personal trainer.
Josh ‘Yoshe’ Riley – “Janick”
Josh ‘Yoshe’ Riley will be making his debut acting performance in Flughafen. Being no foreigner to the stage, as a founding member of CT band Grassy Spark, he headlined major festivals, while touring with the likes of UB40, Milky Chance, and The Kooks. With a Bachelor’s in Psych and Philosophy fuelled by an obsession with the art of life, Yoshe will blow the audience away despite his lack of experience and training.
Mihir Soni – “Alex”
Mihir Soni is an ACT Cape Town graduate, who has spent the last two years working as an actor in both theatre and film. He made his debut on stage in Cape Town as the lead in The Great Gatsby, at the Star (formerly Fugard) Theatre in 2022. Mihir has worked on camera in a few TV shows and short films since, along with performing several improv comedy shows as a junior member of The Longshots.
Laura Kelly -“Sam”
Laura Kelly is an actress from Cape Town. She has been performing with the theatre company Baked Shakespeare since 2021, recently travelling with them to the UK to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe and in multiple venues across London. Laura has been involved in multiple short films and productions throughout her career, including her first one-woman show earlier this year. Her love for live performance has even recently inspired her to pursue stand-up comedy.
Lee van der Merwe – “Rachael”
Lee graduated with distinction from the Cape Academy of Performing Arts in 2016. She then went on to become a performer, choreographer, writer and teacher. She danced in the Cape Dance Company from 2013 – 2017 and created her debut choreographic works for the company, Sun -The Rite of Passage and A Portrait of Us. She has performed in productions such as her independent production, Laced; the Awaji Arts Festival in Japan; Standing O Immersive’s Immortal; the Fugard Theatre’s West Side Story as Anybody’s; Mish Mash Media’s 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche as Dale; the satirical musical comedy, The Good, the Bad and the Fugly; Artscape Theatre’s New Voices production, The Third Force; Arms and Length Dance Company’s Balance; the Fugard Theatre’s Kinky Boots, New World Dance Theatre’s Minerva and was cast as ‘Bella’ in the film The Date.
✳ Images supplied.