Snapped deals with loss, relationships and nature of war

Jennie Reznek and Carlo Daniels in Snapped at the Magnet Theatre. PICTURE: Phakamani Waka/Magnet

The two-hander Snapped will be staged at the Magnet Theatre, corner of Lower Main and St Michael’s roads,Observatory, from Wednesday September 6 to Friday September 22, at 7pm nightly, with matinees on Saturdays September 9, 16 and 23, at 2.30pm.

Written and performed by Jennie Reznek and directed by Mark Fleishman, the play deals with relationships between fathers and daughters and what it means to be a good man. It tackles loss and grief – and what it takes to overcome these – and the futility and destructive nature of war.

Joining Reznek onstage is Magnet graduate Carlo Daniels, who recently scooped two Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards at the 58th ceremony held earlier this year.

In Snapped he plays the father as well as an unknown stretcher-bearer and various other characters. The play intersects two stories – that of a woman stuck in grief over the loss of her father, and of a young South African stretcher-bearer from the Cape Corps who was killed in action in World War ll and left behind in an Italian grave, his body unable to be returned to his family.

“It’s like a meditation on living, dying, holding onto grief, and letting go,” says Reznek, who wrote the piece during lockdown.

“The structure of the play loosely draws on Dante’s Inferno, where Dante is guided through the levels of Hell by the poet Virgil. In Snapped, the stretcher-bearer acts as the woman’s guide into the hell of WWII and into her father’s past,” she says.

Snapped has been brewing ever since Reznek’s father died 16 years ago. Once she had made I turned away and she was gone, which dealt with a relationship between a mother and her daughter and was in response to her own mother’s death, the space opened up for this new work as a follow-on that she describes as a “companion piece”.

The play uses photographs and images from Reznek’s father’s historical archive as an integral part of the performance. A captain in the Medical Corps who was decorated for bravery, he was also the official photographer for the Natal Carbineers during World War II when his regiment was stationed in North Africa and Italy.

The title of the play refers to the “snaps” or photographs that become remnants of peoples’ lives, pictorial reflections and visual mementos that retain their meaning long after the subjects are no longer with us.

Tickets cost R120 and R80 for pupils, students and pensioners through Webtickets. Call the Magnet office on 021 448 3436 for more information.