Now known as one of South Africa’s most important directors, Lara Foot brought another of her highly original plays to an international stage. Karoo Moose, written and directed by Foot, premiered in London at the Tricycle Theatre on June 16.
Winner of 14 top awards since it was first performed in South Africa in 2007, Karoo Moose is, like Foot’s previous work, a hard-hitting portrayal of issues confronting many of the nation’s children, including sexual violence and the disintegration of the family unit. A combination of traditional African storytelling and magical realism, the play tells of a young girl’s struggle to survive in a remote, impoverished village. The performance turns on a violent incident and a chance encounter with an escaped moose, events that will change the girl’s life forever.
Called “an immersive, generous and soulful piece of theatre” by the Cape Times, Karoo Moose brings to a London audience an elegant yet frank examination of some of South Africa’s most difficult subjects.
Mdu Kweyama and Chuma Sopotela in Karoo Moose, Tricycle Theatre. Photo by Ruphin Coudyzer.
Foot remains in touch with her Rolex mentor, Sir Peter Hall, who attended the opening night of Karoo Moose at the Tricycle. Both her mentor and the Arts Initiative have helped her to realize her desire to find a wider audience for her work, Foot says.
“Coming from a small country like South Africa, I do try to seek international exposure for my work,” said Foot. “I think that being part of the Rolex programme and the encouragement of my mentor have helped me to reach this goal.”
To date, Foot has directed more than 40 productions and her work has toured in parts of Europe, including Scandinavia. Formerly resident director of Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre, Foot is now working freelance, writing and directing plays and films. Her latest venture is MASAMBE, a company that will tour work of an international standard to communities across South Africa, performing in local languages.