by Melanie Baumeister
For the third year in a row the little drama group from Smutsville, Sedgefield has walked away with all the prizes at the Eden Drama Finale. This Saturday, 26 November, at the finals held at Knysna Secondary School, the adjudicators felt that Team Xplosive was so good that it had outgrown the development festival and moved up to the level of professional theatre practitioners. They underlined this by giving the team an ‘upgrade’ into the Zabalaza Main Festival.
Over the weekend the Garden Route was assured of some amazing local talent on display at the Eden Drama Festival Finale in Knysna. The event was hosted by the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) in collaboration with the Knysna Municipality, the Zabalaza Festival at the Baxter Theatre, Absa KKNK and the Lunchbox Theatre in Plettenberg Bay.
But it seems that despite knowing they would be faced with the top local drama talent, the judges did not expect the levels they saw in Xplosive’s ‘Afsny Punt’. Described as ‘simply being on a different level’ – the Xplosive Team received the prizes for Best Director – Samuel Jumat; Best Actor – Llewellen Bond, Best Actress – Brutney Singrew, and Best Script – Samuel Jumat and Llewellen Bond.
“What awesome stuff – They were brilliant!” said Stuart Palmer of Lunchbox Theatre in Plettenberg Bay, who was one of the judges.
Due to this growth of talent, it was then decided that the production group Cay-Cay, who were initially second, would be the overall winner of this years Eden Drama Festival with their production of ‘Draaiende Wiel’.
The Eden Drama Festival has been on the go for six years, the Cape Winelands is in its fourth year and the Overberg in its second year. The initiative is funded by the local municipalities and no expense is spared to bring the art of drama to our local communities. Starting just over six months before ‘curtain up’, each team builds a script, which is then workshopped, edited and put through stringent production sessions. The actors and directors work consistently, alongside their usual every day lives of school, jobs , family and friends.
Team Xplosive’s piece “Afsny Punt’ centres around ‘Kyle’ (Llewellen Bond) who is locked in a closet with a pile of toys. Whilst taking a slow and calming breath he suddenly hears strange voices talking to him. He responds, but the question is: Who is he talking to?
Project Manager Moeniel Jacobs, of Knysna, said, “Well done to the youth for showing great commitment with this programme over the last six years, showing the hunger and need to better themselves with the arts and through the arts.”
Well done Team Xplosive! We certainly hope to see this award winning play performed in Sedgefield sometime soon!
by Melanie Baumeister