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Q&A with Kai Luke Brmmer as he prepares for Moffie his latest theatrical endeavour

13/05/2024

Q&A with Kai Luke Br mmer as he prepares for Moffie his latest theatrical endeavourMoffie is a play about love, loss and hope. The production is set to premiere at the Riverside Studios in London on 5 June 2024.

by The South African

13-05-2024 08:23

in Art and Artists

Kai Luke Br mmer. Image: Supplied

We had the pleasure of sitting down with South African actor Kai Luke Br mmer as he prepares for his latest theatrical endeavour, the stage adaptation of Moffie'.

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This production is set to have its world premiere at the Riverside Studios in London. Kai, a London-based actor, has graced numerous stages with standout performances in productions like Athol Fugard's Master Harold and the Boys and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, for which he clinched a Naledi Award for Best Actor. Kai has also gained international acclaim through his roles in films and series such as Moffie, Professionals alongside Brendon Fraser, Eraser , Vagrant Queen , and Desert Rose .

Celebrated as one of the best new up-and-comers at the Venice Film Festival by The Guardian UK, and described as mesmerising' and magnetic' by The Hollywood Reporter, Kai continues to captivate audiences with his dynamic performances.

We spoke to Kai about his experiences transitioning this story from screen to stage and the profound insights he brings to his role in Moffie .

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Transitioning Moffie from screen to stage What was your initial encounter with the novel Moffie like? When I first started preparing for the film which was produced in 2019, I picked the book up for research, but I quickly realised that the screenplay and the novel are very different, so I decided to just focus on the screenplay. Only recently, since the conceptualization of the stage adaptation, have I been able to really delve into the novel. It's heartbreaking, difficult, revealing and somehow incredibly full of hope.

How do you feel about adapting Moffie from film to stage? Are there any challenges for you as an actor reprising a role you first did on screen? Well, there are no challenges with this adaptation as the play is based on the novel rather than the film. That being said, being slightly older, revisiting similar themes and trying to figure out how to make this story vital for the stage is always a challenge, but, after I read Philip Rademeyer's script, all my worries faded away. Philip has created something very lean and muscular and it's an exciting challenge to rise to it and do justice to the text he has given us.

How has your South African heritage shaped your portrayal of the character in both film and theatre? I am one of the Rainbow Nation' children. I was born just before the first democratic elections in SA in 1994 and I grew up mostly in a free South Africa. The world I have grown up in is vastly different from that of my parents. I would be remiss not to acknowledge that my forebears were part of a system that fought against the reality that I grew up in. A system that systematically oppressed people of colour. Telling this story, a story of a white South African who, whether willingly or not, fought for Apartheid is always a complicated ask. But, at the same time, it is a huge privilege to be given the opportunity to delve into my heritage warts and all. I guess my first question was always, why didn't they or this character consciously object this becomes a vital question because it challenges me as an almost born free' to really try and understand this specific time in South African history.

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How has your relationship with director Greg Karvellas evolved in adapting Moffie to the stage? Greg has been amazing, I know that he and Philip worked together tirelessly to get the script to what it is now. We have talked a lot about what this play means and what we want to say with it. Greg is no stranger to this material, and his keen eye and gentle guidance have been there to shepherd me through my preparation. Let's not forget that the man is also producing the play, and so I appreciate his ability to wear many different hats with grace.

How does preparing for a one-man show differ from preparing for a film with a full cast? I had already been a stage actor for many years before doing the film. In a lot of ways, live performance is my comfort zone. That being said, a one-person show is a massive undertaking, and it can be scary at times. But, if we can get it right (and with this amazing team I think it's more than possible) it will be something really special.

What new insights do you aim to explore in the stage version of Moffie ? We are telling a story about a young white conscript in Apartheid South Africa. The parallels between the South African apartheid state and the genocide that is currently being perpetuated in Palestine are too numerous. I want to explore the white settler colonialism mentality/psyche. I want to explore and decorticate the need for guilt and victimization that white settler colonialists have leaned into throughout history. I want to portray a story that may resonate with audiences recollecting past events while finding parallels with current ones.

Why should audiences see Moffie live on stage, and what makes this adaptation essential? It's a play about love, loss, hope and in a way a cry for acceptance. I think it's an incredibly moving piece and to be able to put it on at the Riverside Studios is such a privilege. We are working our asses off to bring you something challenging yet playful and I do hope you come and see it.

Moffie opens at the Riverside Studios on 5 June and will run until 30 June.

Tickets are priced at 25 for general admission and 19.50 for concessions.

Tickets can be booked directly through the Riverside Studios website.

Maak seker jy is nie n slagoffer nie,
LINK: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/culture/entertainment/interview-kai-lu...
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