Imbilini… My Friend! Is being staged at the Baxter Theatre until 24 June, 2022. It’s written by Bulelani Mabutyana and performed by Bulelani Mabutyana and Siphenathi Mayekisa. MEGAN CHORITZ comments on the performance.

Theatre is all about magic. When it happens on stage, in front of a live audience, nothing is like it. And that’s what happened when I saw the show. Electricity, laughter, heartache, connection, empathy, horror, frustration and ultimately joy.

Imbilini… My Friend! is a beautifully crafted two-hander, about friendship between two men, here in Cape Town, and what it means to ‘have one another’s backs’.

Bulelani has written a wonderful text, director Mdu Kweyama has actualised it simply and powerfully, and both Bulelani and Siphenathi are utterly transformative.

This simple story of friendship with a special focus on albinism and how it is seen in our communities, is articulated with great sensitivity.

Imbilini My Friend Baxter
Mdu Kweyama directs Imbilini… My Friend!

Movement, a simple set, and stylised repetition contrast with truly emotional monologues. Then there is the fluent switch from English to isiXhosa, atmospheric lighting and sound and a charmed connection between the performers. Finally, there are Siphenathi’s hands. That man can move!

I find it thrilling and moving and wonderful when brand new works can achieve so much in 65 minutes. I left the theatre wanting to shout, “Go see this!” from the rooftops. We are so lucky in Cape Town to have this calibre of new work to access. This company deserves full houses every night. Go. Go. Go.

What: Imbilini… My Friend!
When: Until 24 June 2022
Where: Golden Arrow Studio Baxter Theatre, Cape Town
Tickets: www.webtickets.co.za, Pick n Pay
Age restriction: 13 years
WS