POSTPONED UNTIL 2022 DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
The Baxter Theatre Centre has announced its most ambitious and exciting production in recent years, the world premiere of Nobel Prize-winning author JM Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K, adapted for the stage by Lara Foot, in collaboration with the Handspring Puppet Company.
Epic in scale, Life and Times of Michael K, is a multi-layered theatrical staging that combines puppetry, performance, film, and evocative music, bringing to life Coetzee’s Booker Prize-winning novel.
The highly anticipated co-production between The Baxter, Theater der Welt Düsseldorf 2020, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, debuts as a special preview season at The Baxter from 7 to 19 June 2021, and brings together some of South Africa’s best performing artists. The world premiere live streaming takes place on 17 and 18 June at the Theater der Welt Festival at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus.
Adapted and directed by Foot, the production is the culmination of two years of planning. It marks the first time that she will be working with the Tony award-winning Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler from the hit production War Horse, along with a formidable cast and creative team.
South African theatre legends Sandra Prinsloo and Andrew Buckland lead the impressive cast comprising Fansiwa Yisa, puppet master Craig Leo, Roshina Ratnam, Carlo Daniels, Marty Kintu, Billy Langa, and Nolufefe Ntshuntshe, along with German puppeteer Markus Schabbing.
The production was invited to debut at the Theater der Welt festival at the Düsseldorf Theatre in Germany, in June last year. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown and travel restrictions, the festival was postponed to 2021. With the uncertainty of travel bans currently impacting many countries, the organisers decided to open in South Africa at The Baxter with plans to transfer to the Theater der Welt festival when restrictions are lifted.
The hauntingly beautiful story follows Michael K, a simple man who embarks on a journey through South Africa, ravaged by civil war, to return his mother to die on the farm, where she was born. He finds strength in his own humanity, his profound connection to the earth and his unique path which, as it unfolds, reveals to him, his reason for living.
The creative team is made up of Handspring Puppet Company (puppet directors, design and makers), Patrick Curtis (set design) Kyle Shepherd (original music composition), Joshua Cutts (lighting), Fiona McPherson and Barrett de Kock (directors of photography and film), Yoav Dagan (videography and editing), Kirsti Cumming (projection design), Phyllis Midlane (costumes) and Simon Kohler (sound design).
Life and Times of Michael K runs at the Baxter Theatre from 7 – 19 June at 19:00 nightly, with Saturday matinees on 12 and 19 June, and Wednesday 16 June at 14:00. The world premiere live streaming takes place on 17 and 18 June at the Theater der Welt Festival at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus. Booking is through Webtickets on 086 111 0005, online at www.webtickets.co.za or at any Pick n Pay store. For discounted school or group block bookings, fundraisers or charities contact Leon van Zyl on 021 680 3972 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or email her at email@example.com.