Anonymous once said that true acting is the space where technique and soul comes together. Emma Kotze is the perfect embodiment of this in Oh Baby, I’m a Wild One, currently showing at The Alexander Bar and Theatre Café in Cape Town.
In this brave and daring play from the creative mind of Louis Viljoen, Kotze plays a young teacher who arrives home from her sister’s wedding. She has a story to tell, but doesn’t quite know where to begin. Does she start with the things the groom said to her while they were dancing or perhaps her efforts to quit smoking? Perhaps a good place to start is her special relationship with a boy in her classroom . . .
Viljoen also directed this one-woman show and both his writing and directing are pure genius. With very little trappings he creates meaning and emotion – honesty in the core of the character and themes.
Kotze is superb in the role of the teacher. The dialogue is intricate and rich in metaphors, but like a true professional she gives meaning to the words in ways that go beyond the obvious. During her pauses the sense of emotion is felt and as an audience member you can see the wheels turning in her head.
The subtlety with which she portrays the subtext of this disturbed character is pure magic and the elusiveness of a final interpretation is strategically manoeuvred throughout the play. Just as you think you know the emotional depth of the character another layer is peeled off. . .
Technically Kotze is very strong; her voice is powerful and has the ability to evoke powerful emotions. One can see a lot of time and effort went into crafting this character.
Without revealing any important plot information this is one of those productions that will linger in your head and heart for a few days. It’s definitely a must-see.
By Joshua Carstens
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