The Market Theatre is kicking 2018 off with a bang with Another One’s Bread at the Mannie Manim Theatre. This latest offering from the renowned South African playwright, Mike van Graan (When Swallows Cry, Pay Back the Curry) is directed by award-winning television actress, Pamela Nomvete and looks at the complex dynamics of food insecurity, nutrition and hunger.
The play, which was commissioned by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Food Security explores various themes related to hunger in the context of the relationships between four women in Khayelitsha, and how what keeps these disparate women together is their membership of ‘The Substitutes’, a group of professional mourners, hired to provide ‘mourning-related services’ at funerals.
Described by Van Graan as ‘a dark comedy about food, funerals and feeding schemes’, Another One’s Bread serves up the complexities associated with acquiring food and nutrition using humour, fact and the downright outrageous.
The play takes its title from the Afrikaans expression, ‘Een man se dood is ‘n ander man se brood’ (One man’s death is another man’s bread).
“Like every other theme in South Africa, hunger intersects with a range of other issues: Gender, class, apartheid’s spatial geographies, education and corporatisation of services to name a few,” explained van Graan.
The play falls within the CoE’s Food Contestation thematic area of research which – through the Food Politics and Cultures, as well as the Symbols research projects – explores human relationships to food, the power dynamics around food production and access and the meanings that food acquires in particular cultural and social contexts.
CoE director, Professor Julian May said, “The specific goal of the centre is to research the human, cultural, ethical and spiritual environment within which barriers and opportunities to the achievement of food security and nutrition take place. In particular, a goal of the project is to increase our understanding of the role played by gender, identity and power in the food system.”
The play, which features performances by Faniswa Yisa, Chuma Sopotela, Motlatji Ditodi and Awethu Hleli, with choreography by Jackie Manyaapelo, will run at the Market Theatre from 10 January to 4 February and tickets are available through Webtickets