Finding balance : a study of the text and context of two Afrikaans festival comedy scripts

Hattingh, Maria Susanna (2018-03)

Thesis (MDram)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores two critically acclaimed Afrikaans festival comedies, which are situational and predominantly located in a specific time and place, and the question how they can gain continuity in the wider theatre realm. Central to this investigation is the context in which these spectral productions have been formed and performed. Through a close analysis of the comedy texts that have enjoyed great success on recent festival circuits, this thesis seeks to identify aspects of these comedies that may account for their unusual endurance and acclaim within the festival context. A correlative aim of this research is to contribute towards creating an afterlife for the chosen scripts by making them available to other researchers. To this end, the two original scripts, N is vir Neurose (2012) by Christiaan Olwagen and Amper, Vrystaat (2015) by Nico Scheepers, are included as addenda to this thesis. These texts are analysed within their respective original performance contexts. Given the context in which these productions have been formed, the festival space in general and the respective physical performance space in particular, have a powerful impact on the potential afterlives of the productions: these spaces are as transitory as the plays themselves. Comedy as a genre appears inherently ghost-like in this distinctly localised situation. A contextual as well as thematic analysis of these two plays show a subtle balance between wit and taboo, as well as comedy and drama. The plays adhere to generic comedy characteristics as well as combining various techniques of humour to create refreshingly local dark comedy. These comic techniques, along with the inherent dark comedy qualities of the plays, transcend language and culture, thus increasing the potential for their continuity beyond the festival context.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek hoe twee krities aangeskrewe Afrikaanse feeskomedies, wat omstandigheidsgedrewe en meestal aan ʼn bepaalde tyd en plek gebonde is, daarin kan slaag om kontinuïteit te verkry binne die wyer Suid-Afrikaanse teateropset. Sentraal tot hierdie ondersoek is die konteks waarin hierdie teaterproduksies gevorm en opgevoer word. Deur ʼn noukeurige ontleding van twee komedietekste wat groot welslae behaal het tydens onlangse feeste, beoog hierdie tesis om aspekte van dié komedies te identifiseer wat hul ongewone uithouvermoë binne hierdie konteks kan verklaar. ʼn Verbandhoudende doel van hierdie navorsing is om die rakleeftyd van die gekose tekste te verleng, deurdat die twee tekste hiermee beskikbaar gestel word aan ander navorsers. Vir hierdie doel word die twee oorspronklike toneeltekste, N is vir Neurose (2012) deur Christiaan Olwagen en Amper, Vrystaat (2015) deur Nico Scheepers, ingesluit as addenda by hierdie tesis. Hierdie tekste word ontleed binne hul onderskeie oorspronklike opvoeringskontekste. Die gegewe kontekste waarin hierdie produksies gevorm is, naamlik die feesruimte oor die algemeen en die fisiese opvoeringsruimtes in die besonder, het 'n groot uitwerking op die moontlike na-lewe van die produksies: dié ruimtes is net so kortstondig soos die toneelstukke self. Komedie as ʼn genre blyk inherent spektraal van aard te wees in hierdie besonder gelokaliseerde situasie. ʼn Kontekstuele en tematiese ontleding van hierdie twee toneelstukke dui op ʼn subtiele balans tussen skerpsinnigheid en taboe, asook komedie en drama. Die tekste voldoen aan generiese kenmerke van komedie, en verbind ook verskeie humortegnieke om verfrissende, plaaslike donker komedie te skep. Hierdie komedietegnieke, saam met die inherente eienskappe van donker komedie transendeer taal en kultuur, wat sodoende bydra tot die toename in die potensiaal vir hulle kontinuïteit buite die feeskonteks.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103790
This item appears in the following collections: