These three plays "of miracle and wonder" by Brett Bailey are testament to a truly groundbreaking voice in African theatre.
Drawing on the wealth of photographs, working notes, autobiography and reflection, this richly designed book re-creates something of the funky energy, haunting magic and colourful imagery of the plays themselves - plays that have disturbed and transported audiences in South Africa and abroad.
The book is illustrated with images from the plays. In the accompanying essays, Bailey gives background and insight into each of the productions, and outlines his own artistic development and vision.
Ancestors, spiritual snakes, the disembodied souls of bewitched boys...these are the beings who speak to us in Brett Bailey's plays: spirits from the African netherworld, prophesying, exorcising, telling stories of our times.
Taking as their starting points some uncomfortable episodes in South African history- witch-hunts in Kokstad, the saga of King Hintsa's skull, Nogqawuse and the cattle-killing - these plays touch on our shared neuroses and fears, blending the tragic and transcendent with the farcical. He also recounts the hair-raising adventures of his intrepid theatre company, Third World Bunfight - both deep in the heart of the Transkei, and deep in the actors' psyches during gruelling rehearsal/training sessions.
Working notes give the reader a glimpse into the thought and soul-searching that go into the creation of these plays.