Onweer is a new and relevant Afrikaans theatre piece, that tells a very important story about a young woman caught in a web of emotional abuse by her father. The play was created by Carlo Daniels and Abigail Mei, who both trained in physical theatre at Magnet Theatre under Jenny Reznek.
Onweer was selected as Best of Festival at the Zabalaza Festival in 2018 out of 40 productions, and is the first Afrikaans play to do so. The production got five nominations and two awards (Best Production and Carlo Daniels as Best Actor). This production is also directed by Carlo Daniels who has played in several David Kramer and Fugard Theatre productions including Kat and the Kings, Orpheus in Africa and District Six Kanala. Daniels was last seen in Friedrich Durrenmatt’s The Visit at Magnet Theatre, directed by Mark Fleishman.
Relevant and local
With the high levels of violence against women in South Africa, the timing of Onweer’s staging could not be better planned. It is a physical theatre work about a young woman Tammy (Mei), who lives on the Cape Flats. She is overwhelmed by her abusive father’s (Daniels) return after his 10-year prison sentence. His return causes much anxiety and provokes questions for the family and the community. Did being incarcerated for a decade make him a better man?
“Onweer was a chance for me to create my own language,” says Daniels. “It was a way for me to communicate my vision as a director. When I wrote this play I’d heard of many cases of rape around me. It motivated me to research the theme and the impact on the victim and the community. Abigail and I developed the piece, first for a competition as a 20-minute play, then as a fully-fledged production.”
Where and when: Alexander Bar from 28 March to 6 April 2019