Tensions, both physical and psychological, take centre stage in the 11-minute epic King-dom Crossroads.
Devised and performed by Themba ‘Dredz’ Mbuli and Julia Zenzie Burnham, with music by Bongile Lecoge-Zulu and Simphiwe Bonongo, the piece traces the narrative of two incongruent characters. Burnham, a young and indecisive bride, is mostly left at home alone with her thoughts while Mbuli, an overworked and ill-tempered husband, labours away.
It is within this antiquated marital structure that things begin to fall apart, and it is through this collapse that King-dom Crossroads shines. Both Mbuli and Burnham showcase their penchant for astute, evocative physicality through their telling of these disparate journeys. Loneliness, confusion, violence, and the slow burning of a body and mind held hostage through societal binaries are made all the more significant through their performances.
Lecoge-Zulu (on flute) and Bonongo (on vocals) are present throughout, without taking away from the physicality of the piece. Their use of improvised sound lends an undeniable structure and tangibility to the overall piece further illustrating, as with almost all of the works in Season 5, the crucial role that music plays in the creation and execution of the epic.
DEVISED BY | Julia Zenzie Burnham | Themba Dredz Mbuli
PERFORMED BY | Julia Zenzie Burnham | Themba Dredz Mbuli | Khutjo Green | Calvin Ratladi | Bongile Lecoge-Zulu | Simphiwe Bonongo
MUSIC BY | Bongile Lecoge-Zulu | Simphiwe Bonongo
WRITER | Dave Mann
VIDEO ENGINEER & EDITOR | Noah Cohen
STILLS PHOTOGRAPHER | Nina Lieska