The Market Theatre and Windybrow Theatre present 6 Characters in Search of an Author until July 24, a project made possible by the DAC Incubator Programme. The work is part of the Market Theatre’s commitment to push theatrical boundaries during its 40th anniversary celebrations.
For the first time, audiences will see a classic play by Luigi Pirandello adapted to take on a South African slant, and brought to life by Sibusiso Mamba in his directorial debut for the Market Theatre.
Pirandello was a prolific Italian dramatist, novelist, poet and short story writer who was awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature. His works include hundreds of short stories and about 40 plays, some of which were written in Sicilian. Pirandello’s tragic farces are often seen as forerunners to the Theatre of the Absurd. He is ranked with Brecht and Beckett as one of the most foremost innovators in theatre in the 20th century.
Now his play, 6 Characters in Search of an Author, has moved to Johannesburg in 2016. A down and out theatre company that proudly specialises in staging classic works is trying desperately to stay afloat by putting on a classic Italian play by Luigi Pirandello. One day, in the middle of the rehearsals, six people turn up claiming to be characters who need an author to complete their story.
What begins as an outrageously hilarious and laughable claim soon turns into a deeply unsettling reality, as the theatre company confronts the possibility that these six people really could be characters and their tragic story might just be worth putting on the stage.
The audience will journey alongside the theatre company as they assess the validity of the claims made by the Six Characters. The play will deliver a theatrical experience that reflects a common theme in Pirandello’s writing of removing the audience from its comfort zone and immersing people in a spontaneous and combustive experience within the theatre.
The play also has its serious side, dealing with various eternal themes such as family tragedies that tear families apart, conversations of healing that need to happen in our communities and our country and fundamental human truths about families haunted by past occurrences.
Another controversial topic raised by this classic is the big question of what is theatre, and what is reality? The question of what relevance and meaning the theatre has today is a long overdue conversation that needs to happen in 2016 in order for our theatre communities to move forward.
Show times: Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8.15 pm and Sundays at 3.15 pm. Call the box office at The Market on 011 832 1641 or 076 882 2733. o make block bookings, please contact Anthony Ezeoke 011 832 1641 ext 121 and Ncebakazi Thintsila 011 832 1641 ext 135.