In a church, with the audience facing the door, piles of books, boxes and library stuff, a weird partitioned off room, and a blanket on the floor. The light so dim you can just make it all out. And the talking and touching starts. Intimate, sometimes rambling, mostly beautiful and completely revealing. Until the nightmare begins.
Kim Kerfoot was awarded a young director’s bursary by The Theatre Arts Admin Collective (and GIPCA and Distell) and he chose this Fugard play with the impossibly long title to do. He directs Bo Petersen,Â Malefane Mosuhli and Jeroen Kranenburg, with design by Guy de Lancey.
The version of this play is possibly as good as any version could be. The performances are great, the direction excellent, the design simple and effective. And, for me, this is Athol Fugard’s writing at its absolute best; where his characters are incarnations, most human people in untenable circumstances, who have to fight against, negotiate, try and often fail to understand a system that makes no sense of anything.
Written at the time that there actually was an Immorality Act (even the words, let alone the concept are mind boggling) the play is completely bizarre in its circumstance. It’s like watching a play about concentration camps. How was that humanly possible? How could it be? And ultimately, that is its extraordinary success. We know it was like that, and, against the odds, two people, for whatever reasons of their own, found each other in that craziness.
I have no idea why, but watching this performance made me think about the relationship between the script, the director and the cast. It is such an intricate, complicated and strange relationship, and not everybody is friends all the time. There is constant ‘push-me-pull-you’. There is constant negotiation, constant compromise. There is honouring, questioning, trusting, boundary pushing. It is an amazing thing. And Kim Kerfoot has done an amazing job.