In a small fishing community along the West Coast Jay and his Oupa try their best to make a living from the sea.  But you need slips of paper and signatures to get at the dwindling fish and perlemoen while police patrol in caspirs and Marine Patrol watch the waters. Despite the dangers Oupa takes Jay out with him one night to pull perlies off the rocks. Bam! Searchlights! They’re caught red-handed by Marine Patrol. But before the authorities can arrest them properly something under the water yanks them away. Suddenly Jay and Oupa in their tiny boat are being towed out to sea… When they finally stop they are drifting in the middle of the ocean, without land in sight.

That’s when things get strange…

Get Kraken! is my new play, written as part of ASSITEJ’s Inspiring a Generation programme. The goal of the programme was that each of the participants should write a play for young audiences somehow related to the theme of ‘poverty’. Taking poverty to be about resources, access and potential I decided to research issues around fishing. I got some amazing research from the University of Cape Town – facts, figures, and collected statements from fishermen from Hawston, Kalk Bay and Langebaan – and processed them.

Then I let my imagination go, using the research as inspiration, not a collection of data points that I had to include. Our Swedish mentor, Lucia Cajchanova, really helped me to find the journey of Jay and his Oupa, two people caught up in a big world that often doesn’t care.

Kim Kerfoot will be directing DJ Mouton, Shaun Acker, Jason Potgieter and Stefan Erasmus in a staged reading at the TAAC on the 28th and 30th of November at 6pm along with Lindelwa Kisana’s Doll Boy.

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About Jon Keevy

Jon Keevy is a writer of stories and plays and also runs Alexander Bar's Upstairs Theatre.
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