When poetry is intertwined with prose to tell a story of creation and being, there is a rebirth. Tswalo, loosely translated - birth - is a story about the beginning, creation, birth. Life as we know it begins there, and it's in that that we find ourselves looking for pieces of Self that'll make sense of who we are, and maybe who we are becoming. The character (Billy Edward), does exactly that, as he takes us through that journey of creation - maybe from the beginning of time - his and ours. The directorship of Mahlatsi Mokgonyana is telling.
The piece swallows the present, taking you into a new space that forces engagement with an existence that you might have not taken notice of before, an existence that you might have ignored because of your reality. Who were we before this? What were we? What becomes of us after living? Birth. Life. Death. On spaces, the stage is rather bare with only a piece of blanket downstage centre, dimly lit with a blue light. As the character sways and moves about the stage, we end up at a story that connects us with the Universe - the earth, the atmosphere, the galaxy. We come back to being because, who are we without names? We might have titles, but do we know our names? O mang? The character further takes us through his family lineage, the story of his people. Naming. The meeting of two humans before his conception. Life in the womb before this one that is earth. Give that child a name. Go hloka leina, seroba! The use of speech and the play with different languages takes a people home - we are never lost.
Of course, humour was pART of the mix, keeping the audience alive and awake. Such genius! Personally, I'd go for seconds (this was my first with Tswalo), and thirds, and and and. Keep your ears on the ground for more beautYful acting and directing from this Theatre Duo, as they're predominantly known.
[P.S. Leah would like to send some choreographed love to the character, for the dance.#BlushesAway]