Tales From The Trash hits KZN

Posted: June 3, 2010 in Tales from the Trash
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In 2007, supported by the CWCI Fund (now folded), we embarked on a national tour with our performance of GUMBO.  It was one of the most important activities in our FTH:K history, as it started us on a journey that I’m not sure any of us were quite expecting.  It also brought us together as a group and acted as a HUGE learning curve as to the demands not only of touring with performances but also with a Deaf and hearing team.  Lots was shared and experienced on this tour (much of which we cannot post on this blog!!), but the biggest thing we came away with was that we needed to make small, easy-to-tour works for another national tour in the future.

This year we started creating such a work.  With the all-Deaf team of Tomri, Christo and Marlon, directors Rob, Jayne and Liezl began working on a story that they had created.  One of the first rehearsals got the performers to go off and come back with elements of their own stories to be used in the work, which they duly did.  The time came for them to present their stories to the directing team and it soon became clear that Christo’s story rocked!! Far more than the one devised by the directing team! So, out with the old and in with the new, and lo, Tales From The Trash emerged.

Overseen by our Education Coordinator, Sma Mabena, the team is booked on a return tour to KZN, Gauteng, Limpopo and the Western Cape (revisiting many of the places GUMBO toured in 2007) throughout the year.  In fact, they recently returned from the first leg of The Trash Tour: KZN.  Check out what Sma had to say about the experience as well as the photos to prove it:

“On a chilly Sunday morning in May, 4 sojourners were about to embark on a journey of epic proportions to the hilly lands of KZN! Suitcases packed, sets and costumes ready, we were about to go and tour our Deaf performance of Tales from the Trash. As an aside, why did we tout that BIG red suitcase for 6 items of clothing (Tanya…?) Flying into the new King Shaka Airport was lost on us, the guys were buzzing with excitement and wanted to get on the road…oh did I mention, that we would be driving between Port Shepstone, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Pietermaritzburg in record time? Can someone say ROAD TRIP!? After a little glitch at the Airport (thank Tanya and Darren for saving the novices…) we were off cruising on the N2 awaiting our destiny…

Port Shepstone – what can I say, other than…the weather…sigh*…was wonderful. After a night of “find Christo’s phone” (which I luckily slept through) and a morning of “find the welcome to Port Shepstone sign” (which I had to drive around and DIDN’T find!), we entered into St Martin De Porres School armed with suitcase full of dreams that we were about to unleash on the unsuspecting learners. Fast forward 3 hours later and we had learners mesmerized and itching to join our travelling troupe – that’s how amazing we were! From the moment Marlon stepped onto the stage and newspaper went flying across the floor to when Christo, Tomri and Marlon ended their performance…it was magic. So much so, the learners couldn’t stop chatting to us and asking us about the show and workshops that we almost stayed in PS…but alas, our troupe had three more days of spreading our Visual Theatre magic across KZN…and off into the sunset (literally) we drove to Durban…

We arrived at VN Naik to be greeted warmly by the Principal, staff and learners from the school. After the biggest dinner I’ve ever seen for 4 people (the guys cleaned out that dinner in a flash) we spent a while (actually, it was a few hours) chatting with the learners in the hostels and once again we were pumped to perform and work with the learners. Let me tell you something, the VN Naik learners were eager beavers all decked out in their drama gear and ready to roll! The talent from those learners was AMA-ZING! From the Zip Zap Boing game (a popular game) to learners doing fantastic things with their bodies in our mime workshop, we had a super rocking time! Time certainly did fly because we were having LOADS of fun! Soon after, we were on the road again about to perform at the KZN Schools Festival…3 Deaf Performers. 200 hearing learners. One incredible show! Those kids were engaged and truly listened with their eyes…and boy, were those eyes wide with wonder!

We were welcomed at Fulton School with open arms and we were in for a great surprise. During our workshops, we saw a great display of girl power because a majority of our scenes in the workshops were lead by girls. Not to discredit the boys but it was so great to see the girls coming out of their shells and showing off their creativity and talent for all to see. Now, that was Ayoba! The talent, commitment and passion there really blew us away. Even the teachers were blown away with the potential of the learners…And the fact that the school had a lunch in our honour (not really, but we felt really important then).

On the same vein of girl power, St John’s DSG (our last school) had plenty of that! I wont say much about the performance and workshop, I’ll just give you a snippet of what the girls thought about it

[The] series of fun, creative and sometimes very challenging tasks made us realise that you not only hear with your ears but you also hear with your eyes! This was an amazing experience which we were incredibly privileged to have. We feel truly grateful for all that we have learnt and we hope that From the Hip: Khulumakahle will continue to inspire both the hearing and non-hearing with their brilliant work. (Thanks Paula and Kirsty!)

Did I not mention that our travelling troupe was magic? I didn’t? Well, consider it said (again)! I wish I could say we’re now resting on our laurels after such a tour but far from it because this travelling troupe is getting ready to unleash its magic on Limpopo and Johannesburg in July!” – Sma Mabena

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Comments
  1. neville engelbrecht says:

    Thanks guys for a great performance at the KZN National Schools Festival (UKZN Pietermaritzburg). The response was amazing with comments like “it was very funny & touching at the same time”, “excellent/outstanding!”, “even though there was hardly any speech they were clear in the story”, “very good – great communicators”, “very interesting and inpiring. It really inspires me to watch a play like this”…and many more…See you at the nationals!

    • fthk says:

      Aw, thanks, Neville! The team had a GREAT time at the Fest and is looking forward to Nationals hugely.

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