Mouthpeace, The Well Being

Review in Issue 14-2 | Summer 2002

Two people, a large sheet of paper and a melon are all it takes: well, all it takes other than years of training and honing the art of physical theatre, an inspired director and the sort of on-stage empathy and complicity that comes from a long time working together. The Well Being is living proof of the power of contemporary physical theatre – a whole world is created on stage by the two performers who take us though an undulating tale of abundant fertility, flood and drought.

Every creation myth, every biblical tale, every folk tale you've ever heard seems somehow to have made its way into this extraordinary stew: there is wondrous love and lustful rape; talking frogs and singing porpoises; an enormous earth mountain and a deep, deep well. The fabulous and archetypal mix easily with detailed and delightful parodies and observations of South African Society – indigenous African, Dutch Afrikaans and Colonial English all up for grabs, Andrew Buckland and Lionel Newton morphing from character to character with extraordinary ease.

This production has justly received accolades wherever it has been presented. Should anyone ask that awkward and imitating question ‘just what is mime/physical theatre?' here is the answer: The Well Being is it. Mouthpeace use the whole human being – body, mind, soul and divinity – as their source material and with words, gesture and the simplest of props bring us to laughter and reduce us to tears, wring out our hearts and leave us wanting more. What more could you want from theatre?

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-2
p. 28