Godot-logue in Gauteng
An off-key offering of the South African national anthem by way of the audience is a fitting start to Calvin Ratladi and Bongile Lecoge-Zulu’s Godot-logue in Gauteng.
The piece, a reworking of the well-known nonsensical monologue delivered by Waiting for Godot’s Lucky, sees both characters kitted out in military uniforms, Ratladi as the knife-wielding conductor and Lecoge-Zulu as the performing soldier. The text, being the anchor of the show, is littered with Gauteng-isms – Mandoza, Maropeng, Agrizzi, Nkandla, and fast, same-day abortions all make an appearance.
Ratladi’s conducting skills are at once chilling and humorous. The flick of a blade or the aggressive nod of the head sees Lecoge-Zulu dancing between timid recital and booming monologue, at times culminating in a shrill falsetto on a knife’s edge. Direction of the piece by Phala O. Phala does not go unnoticed. The performance is short, sharp, and powerful – a rich and profound narrative performance packed into 11 minutes.
Attempting to make immediate sense of a work like Godot-logue in Gauteng is futile. Watching the piece is something like taking a whirlwind trip through Gauteng, or standing in the centre of the city as the noise, the people, the endless stretches of concrete and metal race past you: You are only along for the ride.
There are people who step into the theatre to gain a bit of respite from the outside world. There is also the kind of theatre, such as Good-logue in Gauteng – that reminds us of what it means to be a part of that world in the first place – as chaotic, hilarious, tragic, and full of hope as it is.
DEVISED BY | Bongile Lecoge-Zulu | Calvin Ratladi
DIRECTED BY | Phala O. Phala
PERFORMED BY | Bongile Lecoge-Zulu | Calvin Ratladi
WRITER | Dave Mann
VIDEO ENGINEER & EDITOR | Noah Cohen
STILLS PHOTOGRAPHER | Nina Lieska