Star+Crossed was a production that left me in tears and feeling validated. As the story unfolded into a reality we, as South Africans, may all know, I became enthralled.
My friend Judy and I travelled to the Artscape theatre in a wild whipping Cape Town wind with excitement. There were no expectations from the production. I was ecstatic to be on my way to witness my first theatre show.
Individuals positioned to assist made navigation relatively easy and a pleasurable experience.
The Artscape provides plentiful parking spaces around the building. These were gated and crewed for convenience.
Every great love story has some Star+Crossed lovers and one who takes that story to the masses.
Love stories show up as inspired writings from individuals who share their experiences of love. One such lover on whose life this production is partly based was Elizabeth Klarer. In her story, she shares her sexual relationship with a man of an advanced extraterrestrial civilisation. Consequently described as eccentric for her Star+Crossed love claims.
Views and ideas of a Utopian land where they lived happily and birthed a baby boy. And a land of peace, freedom, love and plentiful resources captured her memory. It was as if she lived in a dream world to escape reality. Although, she associates her genuine heartbreak with the likes of her heart not managing on the planet. Similarly, as Star+Crossed ensues, it reveals the truth beneath the surface.
Many of the meetings between the lovers happened on Flying Saucer Hill by the farm where Elizabeth resided. However, her travels and love go far beyond that hill on the farm. Art takes you everywhere.
The Lover – The forbidden, the alien, the life contrasted, which made Star+Crossed a reality
This is where reality comes to fruition. Set in the Natal midlands on the other side of the farm, where injustice prevailed. Billy is a black male child on the same hill mourning his brother’s loss. Notably, a brother lost to the cause of freedom fighting. Subsequently, as time passes, Billy comes to face many deaths. As Bess travels the world and lives in the clouds of her fantasies, he fights on the ground.
When they both die, he cannot rest before he pulls Bess out of that fantasy and reveals the truth of their love.
He is no fantasy; their life was no straightforward magical Star+Crossed love story. Therefore, he needed to be seen, validated and acknowledged for his part in this story.
The Star+Crossed production that left me in tears and feeling validated
A magnificent art form is created when a love story is told in all its pain, hardship and glory. This musical was made to creep deep into your bones and spark beneath your skin. Earl Gregory and Isabella Jane’s voices travel beyond your soul’s stars into the depths of your heart.
Their acting from childhood to adulthood does not falter. Their subtle movements, expressions and mannerisms tell a story more profound than their words carry. But, O their words, a display of passion and vigour which brings it all full circle. Subsequently, like the spaceship in which Akon, her alien lover, arrived.
The visuals mesmerise the senses. Lights, imagery and sounds stimulate a story as a whole-body experience.
The story can be very triggering, being set in the time of Apartheid. Each timeline and major event they encounter and translate on their journey hit home for me. The Sharpeville massacre and the Soweto uprising were the most chilling points to witness.
The message received or overseen – Star+Crossed was a production that left me in tears and feeling validated
Tears, laughs and deep resonance at stages. My arm hairs stood on ends throughout the whole thing.
Most importantly, it provided a message, a truth and a validation for the realities of the lives of the Black Bodies of South Africa. It heart-wrenches the brutal truths needed for what they truly stand as through a love forbidden.
However beautiful and magnificent the entire production displayed, the message presented stood out firmly. A message, I hope, hits home.
Art: the most penetrating form of truth.
To conclude, Star+Crossed: A production that left me in tears and empowered
Showing available dates on the site until 31st December 2022 at R200/R250 per ticket. Everyone is welcome. Those under 5 years can attend during the day only. The show plays in the arena of the Artscape theatre and is one hour and thirty minutes long.
It is one I encourage everyone to witness. One: for parents to take their children and children to take their older parents. For those whose love is lost to the forbidden hardships cast upon a people in that time and now.
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Lots of love