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Put your money where the Bucklands' mouth is

Roshan Sewpersad

Written by Andrew Buckland
Starring Andrew Buckland, Mongi Mthombeni and Daniel Buckland
Directed by Janet Buckland
Designed by Tanya Poole
Lighting design by Clay Williams
Baxter Theatre Centre
12 to 30 October 2004.

Fuse is an excellent, delightful new work by the Mouthpeace physical theatre company. The Buckland duo is accompanied on stage by Mongi Mthombeni in this futuristic whodunit.

It's set in the year 2136, after the human population has been exterminated by a virus. A pair of lab rats use their knowledge of genetic manipulation to raise a clone of their scientist to help them avert what sounds to them like impending catastrophe.

With simple but ingenious props that comprise even the actors themselves, the stage is transformed into a high-tech genetic research institute, populated by teams of scientists and an assortment of other characters.

The play tackles issues such as exploitation of the environment, sexual politics, the notion of a genetically modified superior race of humans, corporate globalisation and ethics.

The gravity-defying lifts, throws and contortions are executed with the naturalness of our tree-dwelling cousins and are exciting works of choreography in themselves. The script is also wonderfully rich in comedy, techno-babble, suave corporate speak, and naÔve, stuttering monologue.

Programme notes state, "Employing a dynamic and exciting combination of visual comedy, sophisticated political satire, clowning, physical theatre, mime and an explosive performance style, Mouthpeace's plays have become synonymous with provocative, entertaining and stimulating theatre both in South Africa and internationally", and with this I agree wholeheartedly.

LitNet: 13 November 2004

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