Written and Directed by Khayelihle Dom Gumede, The Centre for the Less Good Idea (2021), South Africa
“A play in recognition of the 100 years that had passed since the implementation of the 1913 Land Act, Milk & Honey told the story of a young and successful man who had lost his way, leaving ancestry and spirituality behind, and with no rootedness to the land in which he was born.
In Milk & Honey Revisited, extracts of this original tale are unearthed and expanded upon, in particular the closing solo originally performed by Alfred Motlhapi, now reworked as a duet through the collaborative inputs of Billy Langa.
Absurd, experimental, and evocative, Milk and Honey Revisited reconstructs and reclaims the original Market Theatre Laboratory play.
There are deeply physical performances, traditional Zulu music, and spoken word (the dialogue spoken in English isn’t subtitled, and could have been as the sound is a little difficult to hear at times without headphones).
Focusing on identity, land, and property in South Africa, this play takes Tswana traditional dance moves and puts them alongside football commentary on the radio as the two men, Motlhapi and Langa, perform both in character and as themselves. This is a tribute to Milk and Honey itself while taking an original spin on its meaning.
The choreography (by Nhlanhla Mahlangu & Alfred Mothlapi in collaboration with Billy Edward Langa) is sharp, energetic, and sometimes clean and cautious; Mahlangu also serves as musical director and shapes a narrative from those elements.
You can watch Milk and Honey Revisted during April at the International Online Theatre Festival: details here.
Image credit: Zivanai Matangi