City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Cadre Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 06 August 2013

Omphile Molusi in Cadre
Show details
Traverse Theatre
Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Richard Jordan Productions, Market Theatre, Adelaide Festival and Traverse Theatre Present
Running time: 
Omphile Molusi (writer), Omphile Molusi in collaboration with Rick Boynton (directors), Lillian Tshabalala(music), Jesse Klug (lighting), Scott Davis (scenery & costume) Matt Hawkins (fight choreographer) Michael Brosilow (photographer)
Omphile Molusi, Sello Motloung, Lillian Tshabalala

Revenge is far from sweet in this latest play from Omphile Molusi.

The work from this aspiring young playwright and actor was inspired by the true life events of a relative of his who was an APLA soldier during the Apartheid era. It tells the story of Gregory, a young boy who develops a sense of injustice when he sees his brother killed then loses his love when she is a victim of the Apartheid laws that were in force. His reaction to these events is to become a vengeful Activist but of course the tragedy is that although the goals of independence and democracy are won, his revenge eventually comes back to haunt him.

The stage set is a series of cloth screens in colours that look like various stages of steeped tea bags. Washing is pegged along the top of each line and the overall effect is atmospheric and evocative of poor living conditions. From 1965 to the present day, the dates are shown in shadow on these screens that act as an effective background for other elements of shadow theatre throughout this three handed performance.

Sello Motloung and Lillian Tshabalala give strong performances with minimal props and costume change in the multitude of parts they play from the voice of Nelson Mandela to police officers to mother and Sasa, girlfriend of Gregory between them.

Molusi himself gives a heart wrenching rendition of Gregory, the new cadre recruit, as well as the older man that is full energy in this exposé of the perpetual human tension between ideals and realities. Betrayal, violence, despair and dreams all feature in this deeply human and deeply tragic tale told to an insistent sound of rush and drums in the background. While it is a powerful and passionately told story, it feels a bit heavy handed in the telling.

This worthy tale is a universal lament in light and song for the tragedy that human beings cannot learn simply to love and live well.

The play premiered in February 2013 in Chicago, Illinois followed by its South African premiere in Johannesburg in March 2013. This Fringe performance is its UK premiere.

Show times

Sun 4 at 20.45
Tue 6 at 12.45
Wed 7 at 15.45
Thurs 8 at 18.00
Fri 9 at 21.00
Sat 10 at 10.00
Sun 11 at 12.45
Tue 13 at 15.45
Wed 14 at 18.00
Thurs 15 at 21.00
Fri 16 at 10.00
Sat 17 at 12.45
Sun 18 at 15.45
Tue 20 at 18.00
Wed 21 at 21.00
Thur 22 at 10.00
Fri 23 at 12.45
Sat 24 at 15.45
Sun 25 at 18.00


Previews £13 (£6 concessions)
Sun – Thu £18/£13 concession/£6 unemployed
Fri & Sat £20/£15 concession