And the Girls in Their Sunday Dresses
- Miles Fielder
- 15 August 2012
This article is from 2012
This post-Apartheid era Zakes Mda adaptation has universal resonance
With its absurdist humour and metaphorical meaning, this clever, funny, political play is like a South African version of Waiting for Godot. As with Beckett’s luckless protagonists, two women (brilliantly played by South African comedians Hlengiwe Lushaba and Lesego Motsepe) find themselves waiting endlessly and, seemingly, pointlessly. And like Beckett’s old codgers, these women, a prostitute and a cleaner, are members of society’s underclass. They’ve been waiting for days in a queue to buy rice from the government, which doesn’t seem at all concerned about its hungry citizens. Despite being very different women – the prostitute is arrogant and educated, the cleaner unsophisticated and mousy (though she does have a temper) – circumstance kindles a friendship between them and that, in turn, engenders a spirit of defiance.
Penned by playwright Zakes Mda in late 1970s as metaphor for rule of the Apartheid government, director Princess Mhlongo has updated the play for the post-Apartheid era. As a result, its criticism of government failing the less fortunate and its rallying cry to subjugated citizens now has universal resonance.
Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 27 Aug, 1.30pm, £14--£15 (£12--£13).