Cannibal Country

Drama | Physical Theatre • Running Time: 60 mins
Written and directed by Alex McCarthy | Starring Dustin Beck and Amelia Vernede
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When a young man comes face to face with the nation’s first legal eater of people, it confirms what everyone feared: the new law legalising cannibalism isn’t supposed to alleviate poverty at all. It has some other purpose. But what? To find out the young man must survive, escape and uncover the true source of his pursuer’s, his own and his country’s dark impulses. 

Embark on a journey of justice, revenge, and self-worth with a young company of formidable talent.
Cannibal Country is an epic action-adventure two hander, that spirals from the derelict skyscrapers of urban South Africa, down into its Protea guarded valley’s and back towards the cufflink wearing horror at its heart. Told through text and physical theatre, Cannibal Country is a new play, opening for the first time at the Alexander Upstairs performed by young and exciting rising talents Dustin Beck and Amelia Vernede. 

Cannibal Country examines the violence capitalism inflicts on the minds’ of both the privileged, and the under-privileged. A visceral, thrilling and dynamic performance, Cannibal Country examines the base impulse behind South Africans’ lives: consume. As citizens operating in a free market environment, without fulfilling this action, the country as we know it would collapse. How does this subtle but constant action affect our ways of being, our ways of seeing others, and our ways of seeing ourselves?   “[Alex McCarthy]’s writing is sharp and witty and carries a deep thread of sardonic irony and cynical social critique.” – Tracey Saunders for the Cape Times.

Alex McCarthy graduated from UCT’s Theatre and Performance program in 2014, receiving the Mavis Taylor award for theatre-making. With Callum Tilbury, he won the Best Writing award for UHM (2014) at the National Arts Festival Student Festival, later performed at Artscape and at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK). Alex was Resident Playwright at the Baxter Theatre Centre in 2015. As part of his residency, he was dramaturge on Most Honest Man (2015) at the Flipside theatre. Also as part of his residency, he wrote and directed The White Man’s Guide to Sacrifice (2015) at the Golden Arrow Studio. In 2015 he wrote and directed Fog Ducking (2015) for AFDA Cape Town’s live performance department. For their graduating students he directed Neil McCarthy’s Rainshark (2015). 

Amelia Vernede, actress.  Amelia graduated from Theatre and Performance at UCT in 2014. In 2014 she performed in A lie of the Mind, Mephisto, 12th Night at the Macbeth’s, Lion on the Path and Whale Nation. Nicolas Ellenbogen and Hilda Crone’s Ebola. She spent 2015 in London where she performed in No Man’s Time Automatics’ Dido and Aeneas (2015). She played Juliet Romeo and Juliet and Cordelia in King Lear for Bards Theatre Company. 

Dustin Beck, actor.   Graduated from UCT’s Perfomance Diploma progam in 2015. During this period he performed in Jacque Singer’s The Seagull (2015), Amy Jephta’s Begeerte (2015), Mdu Kweyama’s The Dead Wait (2014) and Amy Jephta’s Die Kortstondige Raklewe v. Annastacia W. (2014). He has also worked with Alfred Hinkle on My Country South Africa (2010) and Dancescape (2008). In 2015 Jason Jacobs directed Dustin in Kalahari Swaan. Dustin is also the co-founder of KleiSand Theatre Company, which focuses on uplifting communities through theatre and movement workshops and performances. 

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