I went to the lovely Baxter Theatre to watch ‘…miskien’ last night. It was astounding. An embodiment of what theatre means to me, of what I – in my relatively philistine version of a theatre-goer – want to see in a theatre production.
It made me laugh, it made me skrik, it made my heart clench and my eyes drip and, most importantly, it made me think. Not in a complexly philosophical way, with metaphors floating over my head and intricate concepts flashing about, no. This was in a way that resonated with me. These were relatable characters, imperfectly perfect. These were people I’ve seen growing up. Hell, they’re the people I grew up with. They’re the people I want to be friends with, beautifully portrayed by Albert Pretorius and Gideon Lombard.
The play follows two mid-20’s men, good friends, one living with his girlfriend (who is particularly unavailable) and the other living the ‘bachelor’ life. They meet each day for Happy Hour, after spending their days in jobs that don’t fulfil, that post-varsity, where-the-hell-is-this-leading apathy pervades. Sizzling beneath the surface, though, is the (denied) homoerotic thrill that we see all the time between South African men – on and off the rugby field. Brave, fantastically fabulous, South African script-writing.
Fascinating in its simplicity, excruciating in one’s realisation, heartbreaking in the attempted fulfilment and funny in its day-to-day plodding, the play left me speechless at its end.*
And as anybody who knows me, knows, that’s saying something.
*I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who’s still going. If you’re in Cape Town, do yourself a favour and go.