THE CENOTAPH OF DAN WA MORIRI. Performed by Tony Miyambo. Directed by Gerard Bester. Dramaturgy by William Harding. Written by Tony Miyambo, Gerard Bester and William Harding. The Alexander Bar and Theatre.

The Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri


I am surprised I made it home. I sobbed the short distance in my car. I started crying before the end of The Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri and I became so undone I couldn’t stand up even though I wanted to.  I was undone because this piece is an ode, a memoir, a homage, an honouring of a particular, special and unique father and it is exactly how I felt, and still feel, about the loss of my own father.

Tony Miyambo, you chose the right parent. It’s the father parent, and everything you brought to the stage in your beautiful, charming, funny and devastating piece resonated with me. You, Tony, are a gifted story teller, a charmer, a weaver of the silken threads of personal narrative and this father story cut so deep.

I love your set and the little blocks and the table. I love the story of hair, and gentle hands and a soft voice. I love the poetry and the repetition and the slight edges of different meaning every time more emotional knowledge is gained.

Sense of place

I loved the peach everything in your parent’s house. I remember that peach duvet cover, and the white dressing table and headboard and bedside cabinets from my parent’s house, in Kew, not far from Thembisa, and with all the same landmarks – the Sasol garage after the Modderfontein turn off. I know that highway, that view, those places.

I know the dust at the cemetery, even though my father is buried in Westpark Jewish Cemetery on the other side of Joburg. I know how to search for his grave, and those ridiculous metal signs with numbers that confuse instead of help.

I know that feeling of wanting a window into the sky so I can see him watching me, even though he has been gone for 16 years.

Theatre at its purest and most direct

Everything you said, and how you said it was perfect and sad, and beautiful and true. I think you are the most wonderful performer and actor and wordsmith and theatre magician.

Dear reader. I urge you to see this. This is theatre at its purest and most direct. It drills a perfect hole straight into your heart.

What: The Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri

Where and when: The Alexander Bar and Theatre from 11 to 20 June 2019

Book: Here