THEATRE: All Gone
Review by SONIA SAJJABI
Regrets. We all have them. We have experienced moments where we wish we could turn back the clock and change things. In this one-person play, All Gone, Thami Sikhosana, acting as Innocent Mhlanga, puts on a show based on a real-life story. It evokes reflections on a path that many have walked and its consequences.
Mhlanga is a young man who recovers from a horrible accident and is left disabled. But this tragedy gives way to celebration after he receives compensation from the Road Accident Fund. Unfortunately, this unexpected acquisition of wealth inspires a happy-go-lucky attitude in Mhlanga that paves the way to his unwitting demise.
As Mhlanga dances with the ghosts of his past, he impressively takes on multiple characters without confusing the audience. As the story unfolds, he asks me to join him on stage. Frightened as I am, I become more immersed in the story as I briefly feel the weight of being on stage. This interaction and his conversations with the audience introduce some comic relief and inspire a great deal of remorse for Mhlanga, who is unaware of the grave he is digging.
Sikhosana’s creative use of the props allows for smooth scene transitions, and the set helps to emphasise themes of poverty, social pressure, loss and living in falsehood.
Overall, the performance is well-scripted, minimalist, and easy to follow. You will be brought to laughter but also moved by this depiction of an all too common tragedy. As Mhlanga questions his life decisions, you will reflect on the situations that could have gone differently if you had made alternative choices.