Theatre review: Metsi, written and directed by Hannah van Tonder, streaming from The South African State Theatre

Event date: September 28, 2020 to October 18, 2020


Tickets: No charge

Metsi went out as a live stream, from The South African State Theatre in Pretoria at 7pm on September 28 and is available for streaming as video-on-demand, until October 18, 2020. The play has been written and directed by Hannah van Tonder and is produced by The South African State Theatre. Van Tonder worked in collaboration with Paul Noko of Sketch Productions who was the dramaturge for the play which engages with the interaction between two characters, Juliet Zulu (played by Balindile ka Ngcobo) and Motswahole Mukubung (Abongile Maurice Matyutyu) who reside in the community of Emthonjeni

Emthonjeniis a fictional “developing community in Joburg”, explains Paul Noko. He told TheCapeRobyn: “Metsi means water. Droogfontein meaning dry fountain and Emtonjeni meaning a well of water. The director is interested in the link between time, nature and human beings, how human beings connect – to each other through their souls and how all this exists in the spaces between the earth and man-made structures. Hannah wanted to showcase this reality through putting a magnifying glass on the untold stories of your everyday South African couple- characters who don’t make the news, but who become societies true oracles through the stories of their lives. And what more way to tell an original South African story about life and death through the use of water.”

I enjoyed the exuberance of this play; the energy and the passionate characters, trying to navigate their lives and makes sense of their existence and what comes next. The production design is complex and detailed- set, costumes and lighting.  Impressive film work (DOP is Pule Mqhedlane) hones in on the narrative from multiple viewpoints- which conjures up a sense of live performance. I hope to see this play, performed on stage and have the opportunity to be immersed in the performance, going out live.

Metsi production credits:

Producer: The South African state theatre 

Writer and director: Hannah van Tonder 

Dramaturge: Paul Noko 

Cast: Xolisile Bongwana as Sikhathi, Abongile Maurice Matyutyu as Motswahole, Balindile KaNgcobo as Juliet, Thulisile Binda as Mhlaba.

Assistant production manager: Nokuthula Mabuza

Lighting: Sketch Productions, assisted by Langa Mathuthu 

Marketing, costume and set design: Sketch Productions 

Director of photography: Pule Mqhedlane 

Assistant DOP: Vincent Mafaesa 

Editor: Johan van Tonder – The Nine3 

Health and safety inspector under Covid-19 regulations: Kgomotso Noko 

Set building:  Lindani Nxumalo 

Image credit: Supplied.