KLIPPIES VAN DIE GROND. Directed by Raezeen Wentworth and Iman Isaacs. Written by Raezeen Wentworth, Iman Isaacs and Carlo Daniels. Performed by Carlo Daniels.

Klippies van die Grond: Review


I leave the Theatre Arts Admin collective in a helpless rage. I slam my car door shut in the winter gloom of an Observatory Monday night and start the car as someone slinks past the passenger side and I shiver. The radio comes on as I swing out into the road. Cape Talk news. 13 people murdered in Philippi East this past weekend. It doesn’t even have time to sink in before a woman’s voice is heard, tremoring with rage and fear and desperation. This cannot go on, she says. But it will. It will.

Klippies van die Grond tells this story by example. The one man show reveals a childhood friendship that ends in murder as a result of drugs. It is not a new story, nor is it madly original. We know it by the signs, by the characters, by the places. We know it will not end well. We know that even now, even tonight and most likely tomorrow there are no solutions. This is the Cape Town Galilea of The Handmaid’s Tale. It is relentless.

Masterful and transformative

Carlo Daniels is masterful and transformative as the many characters he plays, from the limping and squiff-eyed Ballie the vegetable seller, Mandy Petersen the eTV news reporter, a fluid and vocal poet, and a hilarious church priest, to the hideous and hopeless Chadwin Klip – desperate and dangerous drug addict.

This piece tells it like it is and it is not pretty. Razeen Wentworth, Iman Isaacs and Carlo Daniels have created a riveting slice-of-life theatre piece and it is dark, painful and absolutely necessary viewing for anyone who lives in Cape Town. This is what is happening. This is why it is happening.

Crates are moved to make the set. Lights focus in on Daniels as he bares the soul and sadness of the people he has brought to life. A soundtrack jumps from courtroom crowd to surreal rumblings then sentimental sounds. This spoken Afrikaans is poetry, weapon, spilled guts, prayer, belief and shattered bones. These words are bullets through flesh, flame on glass, rain on broken roofs.

Klippies van die Grond is heart-breaking and rage-inducing. It is brilliantly done, and it is almost unbearable. Welcome to Cape Town.

What: Klippies van die Grond

Where and when: Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Observatory from 5 to 13 July

Tickets: Here