A powerful production addressing the emotive subject of ‘corrective’ rape – where men sexually assault women in order to ‘cure’ them of lesbianism – I Stand Corrected was a fitting choice to be showcased at the 8th Artscape Women’s Humanity & Arts Festival. South African dancer Mamela Nyamza collaborates with British actress Mojisola Adebayo to portray a love story told through haunting and sometimes absurdly comical physical theatre.
In a story of two young female lovers who are planning to marry when one of them is murdered, the play merges elements of dance, physical theatre and dialogue using a few carefully selected props, multifunctional costumes, and the strength of the two performers’ conviction. Mojisola Adebayo provides the narrative dialogue throughout the performance while Nyamza uses physical theatre to portray unsettling yet effective images as the ghost of the murdered woman, weaving in and out of the narrative.
Nyamza’s opening solo is performed almost entirely in a garbage can, significant not only for being the place where the body was found, but for the insinuation – implied by her disturbing movements – that the garbage can is in fact raping her. Through a wonderfully witty script, the performers address serious homophobic issues by the juxtaposition of comedy with stark reality. It is only towards the final moments of the play that the gruesome details of the murder are revealed to the audience through a news report that cleverly links back to the beginning of the play.
I Stand Corrected is an exhilarating and all too pertinent performance.
I Stand Corrected was performed at the Artscape Arena Theatre on 8 August 2014.