Facing the stranger in the mirror: Staged complicities in recent South African performances

Access full-text article here


Peer-Reviewed Research


The staging of complicity has developed into one of the most prevalent trends in recent South Africa theatre. The audience may become aware of their own complicity in injustice, or complicity may feature as a subject to be explored in the play. I will argue that one can identify three broadly defined performance modalities which shape current engagements with complicity. These modalities are identified by the adjectives, 'thick' (as in densely layered, complex, deep), 'reflective' (as in reflecting upon as well as revealing), and 'hard' (in the sense of direct, uncompromising, difficult to penetrate). Rather than signifying distinct categories, these terms are attributed to a cluster of performance dynamics.