Grahamstown Goodies: Undone

Four Days in and 14 shows after, I finally stole some time to write about a show I loved at the National Arts Festival 2014.

Grahamstown is a marathon. You go in and out of shows that by the end of the night you’re dead. But it is such a joy.

And joy is to be shared.

If language could break dance and movement could weep, then they would have a suitable conductor in Wessel Pretorius. He is bewitching, sensual and creatively unhinged in the play, Undone, which he wrote.

This Artscape  production is directed by  Hennie van Greunen.

Undone was originally written in Afrikaans as Ont and circulated the Afrikaans arts fests around the country with a number of awards and praise for Pretorius.

It was later translated into English and traveled to Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it was also well received.  It is still delivered with a dash of Afrikaans for the nuances.

The story is about a boy and his dysfunctional family and so playwright and actor, Pretorius takes on a number of roles.

He does this with a clever reference to Greek classics so this could be seen as a modern Greek tragedy. Comedy meets poetry where drama and physical theatre interlink in this punchy, subversive and emotive piece.

The style of delivery boasts a technical discipline and a classical treatment, perhaps reflective of the Artscape quality. Language is constantly bent out of shape to get to its emotive core.  Amazing stuff.

This was my introduction to Wessel Pretorius and Undone is simply brilliant.

The show runs at the National Arts Festival 2014 until July 12.

Wessel Pretorius in a scene from the play, Undone, directed by Hennie van Greunen and written by Wessel Pretorius, at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, Thursday 3 July 2014. Pretorius takes on multiple characters as the production explores the story of a boy and his dysfunctional family. (Photo: Cuepix/Louisa Feiter)

Wessel Pretorius in a scene from the play, Undone, directed by Hennie van Greunen and written by Wessel Pretorius, at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, Thursday 3 July 2014. Pretorius takes on multiple characters as the production explores the story of a boy and his dysfunctional family. (Photo: Cuepix/Louisa Feiter)

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