A view from above

01 November 2013 - 02:26 By Eugene Yiga
NO ANSWERS: Gideon Lombard and Ella Gabriel in 'The View'
NO ANSWERS: Gideon Lombard and Ella Gabriel in 'The View'

The ninth annual spring drama season kicked off at Cape Town's Artscape Theatre last week. The first of four productions to be staged over the next few months is The View.

It tells the story of "Boy", a young man incarcerated in space, looking down at a ruined Earth and reflecting on the circumstances that brought him there. As a final request, he receives a videotape of interviews with various people from his life.

Gideon Lombard's moving performance is especially powerful in the production's emotional close. Ella Gabriel shows an uncanny ability to accurately portray 12 characters across gender, age and race.

The View won the Oscar Wilde Award for Best New Writing and the Doric Wilson Intercultural Dialogue Award at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in May this year. Lombard and Gabriel also received nominations for Best Male Performance and Best Female Performance respectively.

Scriptwriter Philip Rademeyer has crafted a poetic piece. Like other works from Rust Co-Operative, the production company he set up with writer and designer Penelope Youngleson last year, The View isn't afraid to explore contemporary issues that some might find uncomfortable.

In the end, it poses tough questions and is (at times deliberately and frustratingly) vague in answering them. But when seen as an allegory about the bleak state of humanity and the hope of better days to come, it's one to watch.

  • 'The View' (PG-13) at Cape Town's Artscape Theatre until November 9. Book at Computicket