A black screen, cue sound, cue lights, action!
Speed-the-Plow play begins with Charlie Fox pitching a film concept to Bobby Gould; this is the big time - big name actor, big budget, guns, explosions, boobs, probably directed by Michael Bay. Most definitely directed by Michael Bay. Then Karen, Gould’s beautiful and ambitious secretary, throws him a curve ball – nouveau film, high art, very poetic, also she sleeps with him so that’s a bonus. The scene which was performed as part of my graduating directing portfolio is the final act, the unravelling, the crisis point, the trigger being pulled, if you will.
For me, Speed-the-Plow is a challenge to the audience to look at systems and at the people who make up these systems and question their existence in the world. Who has the power over what gets made and what is discarded? What is the scale which measures artistic worth? In a world devoid of colour and creativity, in a time of re-boots, sequels, prequels, origin stories and re-boots of sequels, prequels and origin stories, does the film industry have any space for art? Or is that pretentious bullshit reserved for theatre folk?
University of Cape Town, Internal Examination | Performed by Schalk Bezuidenhout, Sizwesandile Mnisi, and Naledi Majola | Dir. Ameera Conrad | 2015