Thursday, 18 February 2010

Friday 12 February 2o1o:

Last day of transcripts & chosen quotes. We finish off with Eddie Daniels, who begins to recapture our passion of the Struggle saying, ' the Apartheid government has to attempt to please 4 million people, the democratic government has to attempt to please 40 million.'

This gives us the perspective that change is a long process, but it still does not excuse the actions of politicians who believe they deserve their bling lifestyle because they gave years of their lives to the Struggle – what about those who lived under Apartheid in shacks and still are? Surely they 'struggled' as much as you, but have not received the benefits, the accoutrements as Saths calls it, of political office?

We also read through Shakespeare's Sonnets that were chosen by some of the men. My appreciation and love of his Sonnets have grown throughout this process. As seen through the eyes of a South African revolutionary, these Sonnets takes on a whole new meaning:

Sonnet no: 25:
‘Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun's eye,
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil'd,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd:
Then happy I, that love and am belov'd,
Where I may not remove nor be removed.’

or this one,

Sonnet no 30:
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sign the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste.
Then can I drown an eye, unus’d to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe,
And moan th’ expense of many a vanish’d sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned mona,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor’d, and sorrows end.'

it is a humid & hot day. And we are in a stuffy rehearsal room. And it is a Friday. So, needless to say, there is more yawning than usual and the scenes created are a bit more absurd -

One is taken from a story of Eddie's when he and Kwede dreamt up the idea of a helicopter rescue of Nelson Mandela whilst on Robben Island. The actors have transformed the scene into a children's fantasy (not a stretch from the original idea, I must say) where Mandela is pulled out of his cell and put onto a waiting escape helicopter.

Mnedesi says, 'When I was growing up, we didn't play cops & robbers, we played freedom fighters who flew helicopters onto Robben Island to rescue Mandela & the others.'

We finish for the week. I am looking forward to the weekend to a day off to let things process a bit. I have also arranged to meet with Vice for a long lunch, with plenty of beers, on Sunday to discuss how the play is shaping up.

We have one week left.... Gulp.
I just have to keep on remembering that creating a crisis is a good thing..... right....