“When I started composing The Armed Man, the tragedy of Kosovo unfolded. I was thus reminded daily of the horror of such conflict and so I dedicate this work to the victims of Kosovo.” – Karl Jenkins
The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace is a truly inclusive work which holds such relevance in modern society. It includes extracts from the Ordinary of the Catholic Mass, as well as texts from other religious and historical sources, such as the Islamic call to prayer, the Bible, and the Mahabharata. The texts of writers such as Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Sankichi Toge, who survived the Hiroshima bombing also appear in the work.
The Armed Man is accompanied by video footage. It charts the growing menace of a descent into war, interspersed with the horrors that war brings. It ends, however, with the hope for peace in a new millennium, when “sorrow, pain and death can be overcome”.
Alexander Fokkens conducts the Rustenburg Girls’ High School, Rondebosch Boys’ High School, and South African College High School choirs and orchestra in this exhilarating work. The soloists are Brittany Smith (Soprano), Vasti Knoesen (Mezzo-Soprano), Makudupanyane Senaoana (Tenor) and Barend van der Westhuizen (Baritone).
Other works featured include Arlington by Paul Murtha, Mountain Thyme by Samuel R. Hazo, and Commemoration Overture by Robert Sheldon, which will be performed by a Combined Concert Band comprising of the three schools. The programme also includes the first movement of the Piano Concerto no. 1 in E minor by Frederic Chopin, with Jiyoon Jeon of Rustenburg Girls’ High School as the soloist.
Rustenburg Girls’ High School and Rondebosch Boys’ High School present our second combined production in the Memorial Hall at RBHS.
In 1954 American Reginald Rose wrote “12 Angry Men,” originally as a television miniseries. 10 years later he adapted this original script into versions for the stage: “12 Angry Women” (all-female cast) and “12 Angry Jurors” (mixed gender cast). While there are some hints at the gender of various characters, none of them are named, adding to the mystery. The members of the jury are known only by their numbers. The teleplay “12 Angry Men” received an Emmy and later an Oscar nomination in 1957 for its adaptation into a film.
The play has been described as a psychological thriller. The audience is not privy to the court case which has already taken place, rather learns of the crime only through the heated discussions of the jury. This adds to the intrigue and suspense. Their duty is a solemn one: a call of “Guilty” will result in the accused receiving the death penalty. The judge has called for a unanimous verdict. The jury must reach consensus before being relieved and it becomes a battle of will between the intolerant and aggressive Juror 3 versus Juror 8, whose moral strength is tempered by compassion. Perhaps some members of the jury are, in many ways, far more guilty than the young boy whose fate lies in their hands. By inference, the audience joins the jury too, weighing up opinions and attempting to uncover the truth as the struggle for justice reaches a climax.
“12 Angry Jurors” is about deceit and treachery, integrity and humanity, tolerance and empathy. It cleverly suggests that sometimes the real villains are not always those who are brought to court.