Rooiland was a couple of shows away from being one of the ones I didn’t get to, so I am really pleased I made it to The Baxter last night to see it. I had been warned about how hectic it was, seen the publicity pics and I know the content; based on the numbers gangs of Pollsmoor Prison.

Even so. Even so I wasn’t quite prepared to see it played out quite like that. Played out right until the end. Played out with not a single diversion. It is totally, gruesomely bleak. Four men, in a cell. Four men in hell.

Charleton George delivers a performance like very few I have ever seen on stage before. I shudder remembering the ‘granny knitting’ and what he is hiding. The thing about him is his extraordinary ability to switch from the mundane to high Afrikaans poetry in a heartbeat, transcending the actual and going to the theatrical string of pain and beauty. Eina.

Brendon Daniels is riveting and hideous. He embodies his character and doesn’t miss a beat; from his sleepy, slit eyed slouch, to his  brutal madness. He is who I will have nightmares about. Wilhelm van der Walt and Leon Kruger are agonising and seriously good too.

Rooiland is the exact opposite of a fun night out at the theatre. It did my head in. Jaco Bouwer directed this piece brilliantly, to its most horrible conclusion. Bravo to all involved.