The Twist groups performed their new productions at the Musho! International Theatre Festival at the Catalina Theatre in Durban from 11 to 16 January. The productions were well received, with critical acclaim by reviewers on the Musho! Festival website.
This year for the first time, a Jury was in place to decide on awards for the productions. Themi Venturas Productions sponsored a prize for the Best Twist Performer which was shared between Vumani Khulamo from A Bull Called Bahlangane (Big Brotherhood Productions), and Snelisiwe Radebe from The Seed (Umsindo Theatre Group). The Judges also made special mention of the high quality of the Umsindo group’s production, The Seed.
The Twist groups thoroughly enjoyed the festival, watching a host of other shows from Durban and elsewhere.
Denise Lukkenaer, a previous Twist intern, visited the festival with the production Dancing on your Grave, which introduced the groups to a different style of work. Denise and the production team are now working with Umsindo Theatre Group to create a local version of the piece for performance in Umlazi Township.
Lighting Design Workshop
Representatives from each group attended a lighting workshop given by the Catalina Theatre Manager, Wesley Maherry. This introduced the groups to the basics of lighting design and gave them useful practical tips for stage lighting and for creating their own low-cost lighting effects for their shows.
Physical Theatre Workshop
All of the Twist members attended a physical theatre workshop created by award winning performer and theatre maker Tristan Jacobs. Tristan has previously worked on the Novel-Script Project with Twist.
Group’s feedback after the workshop included the following: “There is a whole lot that we learnt which we will apply on stage”- Ubuntubesizwe Productions.
“From the first exercise – all those moments of laughter and creativity, and to get to know each other and unify, it was very healing” – Big Brotherhood.
“The exercises show us that sometimes in the group you are a leader, and sometimes a follower, and you have to be both” – Umsindo Theatre Group.
The next project that brings together is the Phambili Theatre Festival in March. Some groups are also registering to perform their pieces under their own steam at the National Arts Festival in June, 2012. The Twist office is focussing on fundraising efforts in an attempt to secure new funding for the third project cycle which begins in March 2012.