Constanza Macras / Dorky Park
With THE VISITORS, Constanza Macras continues the collaboration between DorkyPark and many of the young South African performers from her successful show Hillbrowfication in 2018. The new cast also includes performers from Windybrow Arts Centre.
The new production delves into the strange world of slasher films, a sub-genre of horror cinema with its own narrative codes and aesthetic style. In these films, mainly teenagers are threatened and killed, while parents and other adults are absent or unable to help them in any way. The teenagers always have to fight the monsters alone. The killers may seem like faceless actors in a violence that comes out of nowhere, but they are often the result of the horrors of the past. "The past comes back to haunt you," goes an adagio of the slasher genre.
In THE VISITORS, these themes are further clarified by the South African context: the absence of parents, for example, takes on a very special connotation as a result of the state-orchestrated destruction of family structures during apartheid. Furthermore, the typical slasher "hunt" becomes a trope for local and global issues, such as the capitalist negotiation of bodies and spaces: whose bodies are allowed to occupy which spaces and whose are chased away, expelled or deported. Whose bodies are allowed to move freely and whose bodies are condemned to stay where they are (e.g. through denied visa applications). The "horror" can thus also appear in everyday situations such as dealing with bureaucracy and corruption.
Through non-linear narratives and humorous associations, the young protagonists try to free themselves from the grip of these old monsters. They try to move from the relentless return of the past to a time made up of other pasts, presences and futures, where it is possible to create spaces for thinking and hoping.