Playwrights > Athol Fugard discussion

Hello and Goodbye


I went to see this production at the Trafalgar Studios which is a surprisingly lively venue just off Trafalgar square, and if you like Donmar Warehouse this offers the same feel but is more upclose and personal (in fact both theatres are owned by the same group).  Fugards play fits perfectly into this venue.  The stage set makes you feel you are also caught among the clutter of a and lonely front room, full of the past, in the home where a brother and sister grew up. The sister pays her brother a surprise visit after an absence of many years, and the conversation that occurs between them is quite heartbreaking and without particularly resorting to "revelation".  The two actors, someone Reece and someone Spall, (not Timothy, his son) evidently cared deeply about the characters and it was extraordinary to see two very different acting styles together.  While Spall was more naturalistic (like Spalls father's acting), Reece was more precise, and this fitted brilliantly with the psychology of their characters.   The play's dialogue had me on the edge of my seat throughout the two hour duration, in an exquisite suspense about what's going to happen in the next moment.  It was slightly embarrassing to let some tears role! However you really couldn't fail to be moved - unless perhaps youre Michael Billington, who gave this production a more quibbling review.  The play is full of all the passion and symbolism that only a writer who is in touch with the feelings of youth is capable of, and Fugard wrote it in his prime years.   The director, someone Robinson, says in the programme he wanted to revisit this play after doing it 5 years ago.  This is unusual.  Perhaps dissatisfied with his first attempt - or perhaps intrigued by the profound effects? Anyway, as i left the auditorium everyone within earshot were saying only good things, and thats not something you hear often.

Iain Fisher:
It is on at the Trafalgar Studios in London from 22 Apr- 17 May 2008.  The theatre has done some interesting work in the last couple of years including some rarely performed short Tennessee Williams plays, Cocteau's The Telephone and Pinter's The Dumb Waiter, all done superbly.  Details of Hello and Goodbye are here


Iain Fisher:
Hello and Goodbye is coming to London.  One of FugardĀ“s best plays.  More details soon.



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