[…] In in (s)kin, gutsy sweat and grunt return to physical theatre from a young committed cast. It looks at writer-director Mbongeni Mtshali’s experience of being one of only three black children at a private boys’ boarding school in the 80s. Mtshali has used the full package of dance, video projection, and prose poetry. The core of the work is a fascinating mix of traditional physical theatre started at festival in the 90s by Gary Gordan with Juanita Finestone-Praeg and others in First Physical Theatre Company but bringing in the new tech and issues.


Politically, the exploration of language, gender, cultural incorporation and social exclusivity is new and raw, and the brutal slapping of muscle on muscle, especially lead performer Thembekile Komane’s final dance scene, where he hurls himself to the floor, is pure retro physical theatre. It is dangerous, painful to perform and watch and it is awesome. There is a problem with the prose with some projection required. The lines seemed to run into one another so quickly that contact with the whole became patchy.

But the philosophical examination of skin-on-skin, race, class, sexuality and soil was exciting and fresh.