Review

David Muller.

Directed by Claire Watling

Masque Theatre until

Sunday November 20

Bookings: 021 788 1898 or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za

Review: Lieske Bester

Haunting – the first word that came to my mind when I started my review. I have seen this extraordinary piece of theatre twice before but when I attended the charity preview, I was entranced from the start.

Williams’ epic poem forms the script and it is a delicate tale beautifully verbalised.

Muller’s presentation has ripened into a mellow and deeply stirring performance.

His voice, facial expression and evocative body language enhance the authenticity of the words and interwoven facts. The stirring details conjure up visuals that magnify the story line and transport the viewer into and under the water – soothing and gentling the mind.

But then human interference enters the frame to disrupt and destroy all tranquillity. Dark and disturbing facts rain on our brain like the stabs of harpoons that brutally kill the gentle giants. The world and social structures of whales (and other mammals) are in sharp contrast to the insensitivity, ferocity and greed that characterise ours.

The poignant text together with subtle changes in Muller’s interpretation make us acutely aware of our behaviour towards those we are supposed to care for, look after and preserve for future generations. The effect is shaming – and haunting.

I was convinced I heard whale music and gulls throughout the experience and the short silence before the applause confirmed that the audience was equally affected.

If you have seen Whale Nation before – go again – it is unique theatre.

If you haven’t – it simply should not be missed.