The second work I saw at the 2017 So Solo Festival directed by Gita Pather was Man Up.
This poignant work only had two performances and I caught the second one. Pity that there are not more performances because the work is both interesting and relevant to the current health and fitness scene with people working out in gyms.
It stars Mark Tatham, who also wrote the play, as Brian Mitchell, a gym fanatic. It is important not to confuse this with the biographical drama about Brian Mitchell, the boxer, which will be on at Emperors Palace later this year. It is directed by Daniel Geddes who keeps a tight rein on the action.
The play unpacks ideas of masculinity, adulthood, life and health and fitness. Mark Tatham is eye candy and we get to see him performing some interesting feats of strength and fitness. The work is very physical and visually interesting, but it is the story of his family which holds the audience in the palm of Tatham’s hand.
Man Up was seen at the So Solo Festival at Wits Theatre on 1 October. The festival runs until 8 October 2017. Booking at www.webtickets.co.za. Online tickets R75 and at the door R80.
Next up on 4 October 2017 is The Cursed Vagina and Tracks at 13:30 and 19:30 respectively.