Writer: Zakes Mda
Director: Princess Mhlongo
Reviewer: Tracey Lowe
The Public Reviews Rating:
Set in South Africa, two women from different ends of the social spectrum queue for days in the hope of purchasing some rice. The Lady, a former prostitute, insists on taking a chair with her wherever she goes, as she expects to be kept waiting. The Woman, dishevelled and downtrodden, brings The Lady food in exchange for use of her chair. The two unlikely companions tell the story of their lives, and how they arrived at this point, and discover they have more in common than they initially thought. This touching, funny piece has drawn comparisons to ‘Waiting for God’, and shows that sometimes the journey can be more important that the destination.
Hlengiwe Lushaba, who plays The Lady, is a real force to be reckoned with. A definite physical presence, she uses her body in an attempt to both seduce and intimidate. The looks she gave the latecomers and the man whose mobile phone rang were absolutely priceless. It’s a great character and Lushaba is a brilliant casting choice. Lesego Motsepe really comes into her own as The Woman’s confidence increases throughout the piece. These two completely different characters complement each other beautifully.
This two-hander is pretty sparse with regards to set, apart from a large metal fence, which is very much a looming force throughout the play. This is a constant reminder of the underlying political issues that the script alludes to.
‘And the Girls…’ is a wonderful, female –driven piece, with some genuinely moving moments. Hlengiwe Lushaba is a natural comic, who simply oozes confidence. While it is clear there is a deeper meaning to the piece, it is not overtly didactic and can be enjoyed on many levels.