Actress and playwright Kim Cloete dug very deep into the dark history of the Cape of Good Hope Castle with her play Ausi-ama.
And judging by the response of her emotional audience, this is a story that needed telling.
The play debuted at the Castle on Saturday afternoon and is a well researched look into the history of the Cape.
Before the play started, Kim told mense: “This (play) was a difficult one, it was a birthing of sorts… it was a spiritual journey for me |personally and the cast.”
Ausi-ama is a poetic production where characters from the past talk to each other and tell their side of Kaap history.
Khoi, San, Nguni, Zulu and boer characters as well as Jan van Riebeeck and his wife Maria, Simon van der Stel and Adam Kok all make an appearance in the hour-and-a-half production.
The emotional audience got so carried away that they shouted at characters on stage, as they talked about indigenous people, slavery and bloody battles over land and food.
Collin Meyer who plays a Khoi man says in the play: “Ons is mens wat ken van min, maar besit ons bestaan… Khoisan is ek in bloed en gees.”
When Gideon Lombard who plays Van Riebeeck stood up to deliver his lines, there were moans and groans from the audience.
But there are plenty of lighthearted moments also.
As the San tells the Nguni: “If it wasn’t for us (and our language) you wouldn’t know what a click sounds like,” which had the audience |giggling.
This was a once off show and Kim hopes it will be back.
“I’d like to travel with it. See the show on different stages and spaces and in schools and especially theatres,” she says.
Paramount Chief !Khora, Hennie van Wyk, was very happy to have seen the show.
“These things are usually produced by foreign nationals, who take our indigenous knowledge and history and exploit it for their commercial gain,” he says.