Co-produced by the National Arts Festival, presented as part of the Virtual National Arts Festival 2020, South Africa
8 PM MT  SAT  AUG 22, 2020
In case you missed it!

Webinar with director Sylvaine Strike and writer/performer James Cunningham, moderated by CURRENTS co-director Frank Ragano: 10:30 AM MT  THU  AUG 27, 2020


Simon has something in his head. Paul has lost someone. Jigsaw is a reunion of two close friends as they attempt to reconnect, to assemble the pieces of their lives, and to unpack thermodynamics. Created from a desire to explore live storytelling in a two-dimensional, distanced space, Jigsaw is told through animated film and an online meeting platform. With the performers interacting across different continents, Jigsaw is a digital theatre experience that is performed live. Audiences may suggest a line of dialogue that will be included in a moment in each performance, by tweeting using #Jigsawtheplay. We invite audiences to describe a significant realisation they experienced, or the discovery of something new and unknown.

SMALL CREATURES is a brand new collective of established South African multi-disciplinary artists, formed in May 2020 as a direct response to performance conditions resulting from COVID-19. It is an experiment in what might be possible when live story-telling is no longer possible in a physical theatre space.

Created by the company, based on an original concept by: James Cuningham
Writers and performers: James Cuningham and Iain Robinson
Director: Sylvaine Strike
Screen direction and editing: Karen Logan
Animation: Hello Pocket
Stage management: Andrea Van Tonder and Karen Logan
Music: Beaunoise www.beaunoise.com
Voice Artists: Sylvaine Strike and MoMo Matsunyane
Broadcast Technicians: Fritz de Jager + Paul-Rupert van Zyl

Known for her unique signature brand in both devising and directing theatre, Sylvaine Strike has moved hearts and minds since 2000. Her company, Fortune Cookie Theatre, has conceived and collaborated with other artists to create many iconic South African plays, most of them birthed at the National Arts Festival. The list includes Baobabs don’t grow here; Black and blue; The travellers; Coupé; The table; Tobacco; CARGO: Precious. Sylvaine has directed and reimagined theatre classics including The miser and Tartuffe by Molière; Curse of the starving class by Sam Shepard, and most recently her highly acclaimed direction of Endgame by Samuel Beckett for the Baxter Theatre, which won her the Fleur du Cap Best Director Award 2018. Sylvaine was made a Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2018, and was the Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre in 2006. Jigsaw is Sylvaine’s fourth collaboration with James Cuningham.

JAMES CUNNINGHAM: performer/writer
Known for his versatile work as a performer and director, James has co-created 15 new South African plays, including Baobabs don’t grow here, Black and blue, Wood for the trees, Jutro, Kaput, Heart’s hotel and The famished road. This is James’ fourth collaboration with Sylvaine Strike which began 20 years ago with the clown play Fortunately, at The Market Theatre. He has appeared in numerous film and TV productions in South Africa and the UK, including Chin up, now on Showmax, for which he received a Best Actor nomination at the Seoul WebFest, and most recently in Tim Greene’s feature film Cabin fever, shot across six countries entirely in lockdown. James has defeated Iain Robinson in a rap battle on numerous occasions in front of large crowds, and he likes bananas.

IAIN ROBINSON: performer/writer
Iain Ewok Robinson is a professional hip hop artist, educator and theater maker. In more than 20 years as a professional actor, he trod the boards in diverse roles, from Hamlet the Dane to Tweedle the Dee. A freestyle emcee and Spoken Word artist, Ewok has written and produced a series of solo performances in his signature hip hop and Slam style, and has appeared on a variety of international poetry and theatre stages. His most recent work, UNENTITLED, was commissioned by The Quick Center (USA) and premiered as part of its Global Theater Series in 2017 before returning home for its South African debut at the 2019 Hilton Arts Festival. Ewok lives in eThekwini, KZN with his wife and co-creative, Karen Melissa Logan. Together they operate as Amehlo Productions.

MOMO MATSUNYANE: voice artist
Kgomotso ‘MoMo’ Matsunyane has been a professional actor since 2004. She obtained an Honours degree in dramatic arts from Wits University in 2012, majoring in performance as well as film and television. MoMo has performed in numerous plays, films and television shows and has subsequently been nominated for and won several awards including: Best Actress in A Leading Role (Have you seen Zandile? Naledi Theatre Awards), Best Supporting Actress (Ankobia SA Theatre Magazine Awards), Best Ensemble (Animal Farm, Naledi Theatre Awards), Best Supporting Role (Tsotsi the musical, Fleur Du Cap Awards) amongst many others. She has recently been nominated for two Naledi Theatre Awards for Best Production: Independent Fringe for Unlearn and Dick Or date?, produced under company MoMo Matsunyane Productions in 2019, which she also wrote and in which she starred.

KAREN LOGAN: video direction and editing
Karen is a film and theatre-maker with a UCT Honours degree in Theatre and Performance. Logan’s theatre career kicked off with directing Neil Coppen’s award-winning Tin bucket drum. In subsequent years she has directed many acclaimed multi-media productions with her co-collaborator Iain Ewok Robinson, including Seriously? (2011), YOBO (2015) and UNENTITLED (2019). For Dear breeder (2014), Logan wrote and performed in a comedic two-hander tht won an NAF Ovation award as well as Best Comedy Performance and Best New SA Script at the Durban Theatre Awards. 2020 has been an exciting year so far with Logan’s latest documentary, Coding for crayfish, having premiered in May.

HELLO POCKET: animation
Pocket came to life after it was bitten by a radioactive spider in a bat cave where our parents were shot by a glowing blue megalomaniac. We were briefly fostered by a rat-reptile family, but our innate physical ineptitude and disdain for martial arts forced us into hiding at a bath house scrubbing luck dragons for pennies. Our only solace lay in etching crude caricatures from lumps of coal, and after a commission from a wealthy industrialist duck we were able to afford a second-hand Mac mini. We now make animations in a pineapple under the sea.