The Market Theatre has really started this year on a high. This week we got to see The Meeting, a production that lets us imagine what a conversation between American struggle heroes Dr Marin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X would have been like.
Written by renowned playwright and screenwriter, Jeff Stetson, and directed by the Market Theatre’s artistic director, James Ngcobo, The Meeting touches on interesting social and political matters which place the spotlight on the struggles the black population faced and arguably continue to be subjected to.
Though they displayed different methods of how black people could be liberated in America, the end goal was ultimately the same. Malcolm believed in the eye-for-an-eye method while King opted to turn the other cheek. The play is well written, the delivery from the actors starts off slow, but we start seeing why its’s an award winning play once the characters start arguing their ideologies on how freedom should be attained.
Delivered by Aubrey Poo, Brendon Daniels and Litha Bam, the audience gets an opportunity to see these men’s lives from a political spectrum as well as in social contexts where religion and family are of importance to them.
The setting of the stage was a bit of a disappointment for me as it created room for disconnection between the actors and the audience, there’s no fun in having the actors deliver their lines with their backs towards you and having the voice being projected to the opposite side of the room…actors with the American accent at that.
In light of Black History Month, the production’s timing couldn’t be better; the subject matter is relevant even to a South African audience. The arguments that both these men raised in terms of seeking liberation for black people is so well discussed that it left me wanting the play to carry on. It’ll definitely leave you with something to talk and think about in terms of what the cost of this freedom has and continues to be.
The Meeting runs until 26 February at The Market Theatre, make time to go see it.