I created another piece,
a solo theatre piece this time, about a lonesome vampire and the
end of the world, I called it ‘The Accidental Antichrist’.
It got some theatre award nominations, and won an FNB-Vita Award for 'most Outstanding New Production.' Schwing. The piece was a roller coaster ride to do, in terms of lighting and sound effects.
In some ways, I was trying to push the boundaries of what was possible on a stage, using the bare basics available - namely, actor, lights, and sound.
In other words it was an exhausting, pain in the ass to a non-actor like me, to get through each show. But you pays your money, you take your chances. It was satisfying work. Afterwards.
I chose to create an odd, but pleasing (to me, anyway) poster, featuring a stylized ‘vampire’ recoiling from the viewer. The vampire clearly alone in some abstract landscape. Stylized distant bats, barely visible, swarming on the horizon of the bare landscape.
This time, the ever
present ‘circular face’ image was that of the vampire’s head,
distorted, with sunken black eyes staring out. The fingers, as
well, are simply suggested - like the ‘teeth’ in the vampire’s
mouth, they’re only hinted at.
I was pleased with the aesthetics of this poster - it contained the bare basics, and looked literally bare - which was totally at odds with the very vivid and colorful production itself.
The poster owed more than a nod to Werner Herzog's remake of Nosferatu, in various ways. But it captured something that was suitably reflected in the finished show.
I did another theatrical run of the show in Johannesburg.
I had been idly playing with another image
that I wanted to use, which was equally creepy.
I don't really recall why- but for some reason, I renamed the play (kind of a dumb thing to do, when the piece has won some serious theatre award, and is known by its original title). But I suppose I was wanting to experiment a little.
Again, looking at it with hindsight, the ‘machine-like’ look of the poster, conveys and contains in all its visual elements, the growing dissatisfaction I was having with doing theatre in South Africa.
I stole the basic poster template from my earlier 'Story of an African Chicken' - the hill, and the barbed wire.
I didn't have much fun doing this run. I was feeling an overall creative unhappiness, which would culminate in July, at my last Grahamstown Festival - where I decided 'enough already.'
The time to stop doing art is when you're not having any fun
- regardless of how much money you might be making. That's my approach, anyway.
This ended up being the last solo dramatic piece I'd do in South Africa.
To quote from the last line of the play,
"..And the orange lights of the highway,
stretched off, into the dark, uncertain night, ahead."