Review | Generational ripples rise like waves in ‘rebirth’

rebirth | Blue Room Theatre | ★ ★ ★ 

Presented by APK Productions and Drug Aware (Healthway), rebirth is a fresh spin on telling difficult historical moments from debut playwright, Tinashe Jakwa.

The production held pockets of brevity with situational humour, carried by the cast during evocative and empowered performances. Their authentic energies shining through within the intimate space of the Blue Room’s Studio venue.

rebirth features some intensive themes such as war, sexual assault, death, and violence. The company weaves a delicate tapestry of sinister storytelling, set to a country fighting for independence, a white man trapped in a black family household, and a passage of time that slowly heals internal family bonds. The creative team were cohesive and empathic with the audiences in how they delivered a show that journeys the mountainous landscape of joy, pain, and racial division.

To the new theatregoer, rebirth may feel somewhat repetitive towards the end of the hour production. Certain words, actions, and visual cues make a habit of appearing three times or more – however, this technique proves the professionalism of the production from page to stage. Not only does it help keep these themes in mind long after they’ve occurred, but this use of pacing reflects the nuances of the stories and lived experiences represented through history – “Black futures, old hopes”.

rebirth reminds us how powerful our history is, and how doomed we are to repeat it. In this regard, rebirth is a modern fable and allegory, inspiring new generations to enact change, no matter how small – for it will hold generational ripples.

As a team of emerging artists, the rebirth company created a safe and trusting environment – not only for the cast to immerse themselves in a harrowing and politically relevant story – but one that extended to the audience, which is a feat that even larger scale productions sometimes fall short. These creatives are ones to watch.

Joshua Hall Haines

Image: Andrea Lim

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