I don’t know how to write this. I am on the verge of tears again, the morning after watching Snapped. I too feel snapped, broken again, in grief and eternally un-whole, mourning the loss of my own father, other more deeply personal losses, the loss of my heart space theatre, and the brokenness of the world right now.

Snapped opened at The Flipside at the Baxter and it was my first live play in over a year. I had heart-pounding anxiety in the foyer, and only settled down once in my seat, with the “safety” of two empties on either side. But I was desperate to see live theatre. I felt like my heart was bursting just looking at the set and stage light and the actor, on stage and shivering. It was unbearably beautiful, and it hadn’t even started yet.

Snapped is Jennie Reznek’s ode to the unresolved grief of her father’s death. It is completely personal, and even sometimes elusive and obscure. Like grief. Like my grief. It is so many things, but mostly it is immersive, poetic, honest, raw and emotional, and devastating.

Snapped. Written and performed by Jennie Reznek at the Baxter Theatre Flipside. Photo Credit: Mark Wessel.

The fragile, dangerous space of grieving

In the program, Jennie explains in her writer’s note that she wrote the piece during lockdown. This makes total, absolute sense. Lockdown broke us all, in all the ways, and this piece feels like it examines the fragile, dangerous space of grieving a kind of theatrical experience as much as it deals with the personal. For me, anyway.

Jennie is her heightened self, brilliantly articulated physically, vocally, and emotionally. She is the unique performer made utterly vulnerable and she is both mesmerizing and heart-ripping to watch. I love her.

Jennie is supported on stage by the utterly remarkable Carlo Daniels, who is muse, unnamed soldier, and death fetcher. I didn’t always understand the “what” of him, but completely bought into the “how” of his being.

Crew, played by Xola Mntanywa, is also hilarious and a lovely side-note nod to us being in a theatre experience.

Magnet Theatre’s Snapped. Written and performed by Jennie Reznek. Photos Credit: Mark Wessels.

Craig Leo’s design is perfect. Neo Muyanga’s sound and music is beyond. The videography by Kirsti Cumming is amazing and strange and wonderful and fully integrated. Mark Fleishman’s direction is inspired. This is a massive collaboration in support of such a singularly personal story, and it works on every level.

This production is so brave. It is so achingly emotional there were times when it was hard for me to bear. If you are brave enough to be moved out of yourself do not miss it for anything.

Magnet Theatre’s production of Snapped is written and performed by Jennie Reznek, directed by Mark Fleishman, with Carlo Daniels and Xola Mntanywa is at the Baxter Theatre Flipside is on from 16 September to 2 October 2021, at 7pm and Saturday matinees at 2pm. Tickets and more information here.

 

This article has been reposted with permission from Weekendspecial.co.za and was originally posted on 21st September, 2021.

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.