I don’t think Gerard Bester ever stops…creating, performing, teaching, parenting…It just seems like he is always busy with something. Art-Movie-Book spent some time with Gerard during the rehearsal process for Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri performed by the brilliant Toni Miyambo, presented at the So Solo Festival held at WITS between 7 – 19 October 2014.
Gerard is sitting in the Director’s chair for this piece, but when I think of him, the first thing that comes to mind is Gerard in his undies in “Turnstile: Not sure if I’m coming or going”. He has done a ton of other incredible work before and after that special moment, but it was just wonderful to see him bringing his brand of theatre with that trademark play between humour and thought provoking commentary, to the streets of Joburg…to the people.
His finely tuned performances come from years of experience and training, first in the Drama department at WITS university and thereafter the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London. His work has often centred around the mundane experiences and activities of daily life. The work – Attachments ( nr.1-7) created in collaboration with Athena Mazarakis and Craig Morris, has recently resurfaced as an iconic piece of physical theatre, proving that his work is timeless and relevant to an audience of all ages.
This infatuation with the everyday lives of people has translated into Gerard’s involvement with the Hillbrow theatre project as Creative Director and the Inner-City High Schools Drama Festival, which celebrates it’s 10th year in 2014.
Here he has become a role model and mentor to many young people and has created a platform for the recognition of the never-ending talent that fills the streets of South-Africa and the stories that need to be told.
His renowned skill as a stage director has manifest itself in the fine-tuning of many well known performances and his list of collaborators is envious – a little black book of Drama royalty. We would love to suggest you visit Gerard Bester’s website, but this guy is just too busy to even have one. Then again I suppose the people that matter know and value the depths of his knowledge and talent, so he just doesn’t need one.
We will however be nagging Gerard to keep Art-Movie-Book in the loop on all his projects, so keep coming back to visit us. In the meantime go and see Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri at the WITS theatre, showing until the 19th of October-It’s classic Bester, so don’t miss it!