Riders on the Storm

COME hither, into this vortex.

THE BIBLICAL ENORMITY of oceanic mischief and what the sea, in a fury, can do to you, is something that has long been the energy that pushes forward creative pens. It’s ineffable and so big that it is beyond our egotistic ability to contain or tame it. Picking up the threads of Martyn Le Roux’s tale Die Soutwaterheks, (The Sea Witch) in episode three, we find our heroes cast into the ire – or the eye – of a monstrous sea storm. Recorded and released independently online, in both MP3 and MP4 formats, in Afrikaans with bits of English, this tale, told sequentially in individual episodes is accessible through various links.

Episode two ended with the sea getting scarily murky and things feeling out of kilter. Frans (Francois Coertze) is at sea with John (Pieter Theron), the vessel’s captain. And like the drama evoked in stage productions such as the National Theatre Live’s Dick Whittington, or in words, as in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, the monumental unpredictability of the sea is carried with sophistication and drama, keeping you on the edge of your seat. It’s a clever amalgamation of character development, narrative thread and technical know-how.

We feel our characters being tossed hither and yon by forces beyond their control and like the characters in Wolfgang Fischer’s film Styx, find them first encountering oceanic borders, or something which feels like red tape on the waves. One thing leads to another, and over the crackle of radio frequency and the potency of a vortex under their vessel, they’re cast into a curiously otherworldly space.

And yes, it is here where the eponymous sea witch first shows face. But it is not what you expect. And the clincher holds Frans tighter than comfort allows.

Entitled ’n Noue Ontkoming (A Narrow Escape) this episode of the story blends predictability with unstoppable drama. It ends on a bit of a cliff hanger and the mix of audio values and narrative surprise will bring out the goosebumps in you.

Die Soutwaterheks promises 25 chapters: Watch this space for consecutive reviews!

  • Die Soutwaterheks: Episode 3 ‘n Noue Ontkoming (The Sea Witch: A Narrow Escape) is written by Martyn Le Roux. Directed by Martyn Le Roux, and featuring technical input and sound research by Arné von Molledorf, it is performed by Francois Coertze, Pieter Theron and Riaan Visman. It is available here.

Leave a Reply