With scenes as carefully curated as the play’s soulful musical selection, Chasing Chairs is a journey into the lives of an ordinary, modern, middle-aged couple and the impact the ever-changing phases of life has on their intimate relationship.
Chi Mhende plays Kat, with veteran actor Theo Landey slipping into the role of Simon.
It’s refreshing to see Mhende in action, with all the hype around her transgender role as Wandile on SABC1’s Generations: The Legacy.
She slips into the skin of Kat with confidence; revealing a woman who has struggled with having a child due to her family’s barren genetic history.
While watching the play, I couldn’t help but notice audience members falling under the hypnotic spell of her character, hanging on to her ups and downs, sharing her pain – through her collection of chairs, 20-something colanders and 57 tea cloths.
There are moments of vulnerability, where Kat succumbs to depression.
Chi Mhende. Picture: Twitter
Mhende explores all these exhausting emotions effortlessly and Landey offsets her performance with sheer dexterity, thanks to his years of experience. As Simon, he keeps Kat grounded as her sounding board. This understanding – on his part – also gives rise to friction.
Chasing Chairs explores the transformation of intimacy between a couple when a child enters the picture. It offers identifiable struggles, where professional lives and working mums adds further strain on the relationship.
Chasing Chairs. Picture: Twitter
The set lives up the show’s title, with a large yellow couch for intimate moments, armchairs for the therapy sessions and the small children’s chair for the couple’s only child, Ludo.
This is an emotional play, which will leave you exploring a roller-coaster of emotions, in a similar vein to the actors.
Definitely worth seeing, if you can.