TSWALO. Written and performed by Billy Langa. Directed by Mahlatsi Mokgonyana. At the Theatre Arts Admin Collective.


Unless you are at a festival, 12pm on a Friday afternoon is a funny time for theatre. It is smack bang in the middle of your day, and the sun finds every tiny hole to sneak through, making a pure blackout impossible, so suspension of disbelief is probably at its weakest at this exact time.

'Tswalo' Billy Langa

But. It was like switching a switch. Once Billy Langa appeared on stage and with such extraordinary deliberateness took up a blanket (the only prop in the piece) we were drawn right in to the magic circle of the entire universe, and we only re-found ourselves when we stood up to applaud him at the end.

I cannot find the words to tell you about this poetic, personal, political, universal, mythological mind and heart altering work. Billy Langa has the words and they spill, slide stutter and flow out of his mouth as his body takes us to the source of all things. We are wooed and seduced, shaken, and totally stirred as this love and hate poem to the universe reaches between our ribs and takes hold of our hearts. I felt like I felt when I discovered Tom Robbins for the very first time. Nothing will be the same now.

This piece is immaculate. This is what theatre should, and can be.

I am in love with all the words, English and Sepedi, I am in love with writer and performer Billy Langa and I am in love with director Mahlatsi Mokgonyana.  I am making plans to see this description of the universe and the source of all things again.

All I am going to do now is tell you where and when. Theatre Arts Admin Collective. Saturday 26 August 2pm and 7pm. Monday 28, Tuesday 29, Wednesday 30 at 7pm. R100 gets you in and changes your life. All you have to do is show up.

What: Tswalo

Where and when: Theatre Arts Admin Collective on 26 August, 28 – 30 August

Book: Here