Playwright Coppen is a talented theatre maker who has fairly recently been honoured with a Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre, so I was reasonably certain that I was going to find Tin Bucket Drum, a South African parable, fascinating. I was right. It was first created in 2007 and has had several runs, including an international one, since then. It won a Standard Bank Ovation Award in 2015 at the National Arts Festival.
The story of Nandi, a heavily pregnant war widow, her daughter, Nomvula, a baby with an insolent heartbeat, and the people of Tin Town who are subject to the rule of silence by the government Censor. We work our way through a world where a drought has reigned for twenty years and only the rhythmic revolution of the heart of our little heroine can save it. The story is curiously appealing. It deals with govermental interference with personal liberty and the power of creativity despite that interference. It is simply a tale told with skill and considerable enthusiasm and received with great pleasure.
Jade Bowers is an extremely talented director and designer, and this production features Warona Seane (solo actress) and Matthew MacFarlane (musician), making this a formidable creative team. The Standard Bank Ovation for Tin Bucket Drum is Jade Bowers’ second such award in two consecutive years, the first one being for What the Water Gave Me in 2014. Bowers is a theatrical talent to watch for the future having already won several other awards including the 2014 ImpACT Award for Theatre sponsored by the Distell Foundation and presented annually by the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) as well as being named one of AfriPOPs Top Five Female Theatre Makers in South Africa.
Tin Bucket Drum runs at the UJ Con Cowan Theatre from 11 to 22 August 2015. Tickets are sold at a full price of R80 and discounted at R50 for students and pensioners. Book at Computicket or the UJ Arts Centre offices during working hours. Contact 011 559 3058 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for queries.