Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Robben Island Bible

Yesterday Matthew Hahn one of my drama lecturers gave the first public read through of his new play The Robben Island Bible at Richmond Theatre. All I can say is WOW it was fantastic particularly when you have such a humble and gracious man reading; Jon Kani. Kani is the man that brought us Sizwe Bansi is Dead with Arthol Furgard which I saw at the National a couple of years ago. His presence on stage is so empowering, you feel you can do anything. Speaking to Matt today he said he was nervous about doing the read through himself but was so glad he did it. The play is a verbatim play and takes the Shakespeare quotes which the Robben Island prisoners had highlighted and dated as well as one on one interviews which Matt had had. I really loved the relationship between Matt and John. John was the esteemed actor and had a natural presence and ease with the space. At one point in the read through he stood up and went and had a conversation with Matt. This was brilliant and one of those rare moments in theatre where you know what you are seeing is the total truth.