Unfathomable is a 40 minute, art-as-research film adapted from the stage play by the same name. The stage play was devised by Athena Mazarakis and Alex Halligey, and first premiered live at the National Arts Festival Fringe in Makhanda in 2019, winning a Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award.

Using water as a central motif-metaphor for processing grief, the original theatre work traces the histories of Halligey’s father and grandmother through a poetic play between materials, body and words. Curious to see how this theatrical audio-visual richnesss might be realised in the audio-visual medium of film, an ensemble of artists have collaborated to realise this new iteration of Unfathomable, creating a cinematic work that is neither a filming of the stage performance nor a translation of the stage performance into film. Rather the use of filmic elements (camera, editing, music composition and sound design for camera) in dialogue with set, stage lights, materials, live sound and performer to express Unfathomable’s theatrical imagery.
Limited public release at The Bioscope:
The film will be available for public view as a limited release during the month of July, releasing on 13 July at The Bioscope.
Screenings :
13 July at 6:45pm and 8pm,
(with the filmmakers in attendance)
19 July at 5:30pm
20 July at 5:30pm at The Bioscope.
Tickets are R 100 and available at www.thebioscope.co.za
Online viewing :
For those who are not able to join at the venue, the film will also be available online as a pay per view experience from 14 July – 30 July. Tickets are R 50 and available via https://popartcentre.co.za/theatre/book-tickets/
Created by Alex Halligey and Athena Mazarakis
Performed by Alex Halligey
Directed by Athena Mazarakis
Designed by Jenni Lee Crewe
Lighting design by Benjamin Muir-Mills
Filmed and Edited by Nicola Pilkington
Sound Design by Zain Vally
Original score by Daniel de Wet
Based on research supported by the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences Venue and technical support : UJ Arts & Culture
Special thanks to : Barry Strydom, Jessica Denyscchen and 9mm films Original stage play created at the Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative’s Ebhudlweni Arts Centre. The film version of Unfathomable was filmed at the Con Cowan Theatre on University of Johannesburg’s Bunting Road Campus in Johannesburg.