Just over a week ago a few friends and I discussed a need for critics and what they bring into the arts industry. Critics or reviewers are big business in functional arts communities. They make or break productions and acts.
I for one should confess that at some point, I could have passed for one. I have since lost the brutal part of me and adopted the build the industry stance. I see it in a lot of writings by many other arts reporters, there is always icing.
This week my artiste, Khuliyo released a collaborative album with Ramsey K. The album is called Ngqobe and will be launched at the Bulawayo Theatre tomorrow.
I tried to spread the album around to both media and arts personalities and the closest to a review was that its actually good music (that’s not a review).
Of the 12 people who received the songs I must thank Cynthia and former Iyasa member and actor Prelude Sibindi who is now based in South Africa. Thank you for the feedback. And congratulations are in order to Prelude for graduating this past week.
Let me stop wobbling and give reviewing a go. Last weekend on Sunday I went to watch Ukholo The Musical at Bulawayo Theatre. The production is by one Sam Bongo who is very spirited when it comes to arts.
There are a lot of positives when it comes to that show. I was especially impressed by the music and dance, particularly the vocal side. I still had a problem with the band that could have been working hand in glove with the vocalists instead of competing. When they lowered it was beautiful and when the band decided to go higher it was just noise.
The 25 plus member cast is a beauty to watch and has amazing energy. Buoyed by the good attendance they shone even more.
The story needs work though, otherwise the production could quite easily be the best I have seen this year.
One thing that’s certain with our theatre no matter who is doing it, is a need for aged actors to take up adult roles.
I appreciate how most of the people staging shows at the theatre go out of their way to get their families and friends to attend events, but that’s also proving to be a problem as many of those people end up making noise and disturbing the shows.
Outside of the story being weak and the few negatives, the show is a refreshing take with serious potential. It can bring in a new audience and create a totally new power house. The mixture of traditional and contemporary music’s and dances is icing to the colourful production.
Notable faces are Lady T who by the way showed another side of hers with the amazing dances, Agnes Ncube and Clint from Raisedon Baya’s Centre For Talent Development and dancers from Khaya Arts and Explosion Dance group.
I give the production a good three-and-a- half stars. Until next week, be safe . . .