A team of students of the Market Theatre Laboratory treated their audience to satire that mimics the status quo of man – What is a man? Can it feel? What shape does it hold?
“Men are disgusting”. These are the words of Amanda Ndlovu’s charachter, who goes undercover at the Marosee men’s camp by disguising herself as one of them. Here she learns that these men are, in fact, trained to behave the way they do – like men, like appalling men. These men’s morals, demeanour and everything else about them is questionable to her.
However, not all of it can be blamed on them: their superiors constantly highlight, reinforce and remind them of what being a man is like. “Real men use Standard Bank ATMs, they buy their girlfriends Peruvian weaves,” chants the commander.
The two commanders are representative of what society molds a man into and what it expects from them. A real man will not shed a tear over a movie scene. He will however, strive to spend every cent to his name on Black Labels. Brutal Fruit is prohibited at the Marosee men’s camp.
A relatable representation of real everyday men: unlike for women and children, men’s tears are taboo. Men do not cry and if they do there is validation attached to those tears: it is definitely not emotion.
Following a night of heavy drinking, the commander communicates his disappointment to the men who did not drink their pockets dry, and then proceed to command his babalas-gripped soldiers in duty. Another representation of ‘men’s affairs’ as a pile of struggle to which no solutions are sought. No only do they inflict heavy burdens on themselves and others, but bear the brunt of society’s ideas and expectations of what a man is.
This production challenges issues of sexuality, rape and the overall recklessness that governs the mind of a man. The actors incorporate dance and acapella singing (catch their hit song Men are Trash) into the performance.
Catch Marosee at the Masonic Front on Monday 2 July at 14:30pm.
By Matebello Motantsi