There has been plenty of things South African in Paris this week. We celebrated Freedom Day on the 27th April, took in a South African play; The Suit at Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord last night and tonight Alliance Francaise is hosting an art exhibition by Khwezi Strydom, who works and lives in France.
The Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord is reminescent of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg so it was almost fitting that the Suit is showing here, because the play was first staged at the Market Theatre many years along. If you are in Paris, and would like to see this South African play by Can Themba, it is only until this Saturday 5th. It is sub-titled for the French Speakers and has been sold out, for the entire time is as been running, that is, since April 3rd.
Nonhlanhla Kheswa, Jared McNeill and William Nadylam do a splendid job reprising the roles of Mathilda (Tilly), Philemon, and Philemon’s best friend; the main characters in this tragiccomedy set in South Africa’s Sophiatown. Accompanied by a trio of musicians, that not only provide the music, of which there is plenty, but also have cameo roles in the play itself, it’s a rollicking play-cum-musical, that engages the audience, through not just the splendid acting, but literally, pulling some members onto the stage to be a part of the action.
Some of the audience members were moved to tears by the dramatic ending; I left humming Malaika, the song made famous by the late Miriam Makeba.
Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord
37 bis Boulevard de la Chapelle
Blurry pictures taken using my phone can be found here.