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Topic Summary

Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: June 30, 2010, 11:01:33 PM »

Dominic Cavendish reviews the Arcola Mecca in The Telegraph, 29 Jun 2010.

"...Fugard deals with weighty themes – not least, artistic freedom versus social and religious conformity – in a light, albeit possibly too drawn-out, fashion. The acting here answers his subtlety and ambiguity, showing us how the characters’ blind-spots and failings are inextricably bound up with their admirable, rugged stubbornness. Linda Bassett is spot on as the scatty old loner, tingeing her defiance and self-reliance with just the right air of blank desperation. And there’s assured work too from Sian Clifford as the headstrong teacher, by turns forcefully concerned and irritatingly assured, while James Laurenson is a model of creepy solicitude as the visiting pastor. Recommended."

The link is here:
Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: June 27, 2010, 06:13:39 PM »

An interesting production.  I particularly liked the acting of Marius who avoided the cliche and was someone who wanted to do good and to help people, but who still lived by his own standards.

When he left Helen "We're trying to say goodbye to each other aren't we?" the woman in the audience in front of me was crying.

Some weaknesses of the play:

The first act is too wordy.  When Fugard is sharp he is very good "My turn to say sorry"... "To tell you the truth, I was getting on my own nerves".  But when he get pulled down by plot, it does strain

"I'm afraid it's even more complicated than that, Elsa.  Marius is only thinking about what's best for them but on the other hand Gertruida has offered to donate part of her profits to their school-building.  And what about Koos?  Wouldn't it make things even worse for Katrina if he had a local supply"... "There are two separate issues..." and so on.

And after Marius has left we need a speedy resolution but Fugard starts another strand.

But a fine version of a play that at times is the best of his writing.  Recommended.
Posted by: listings
« on: January 28, 2010, 02:30:03 PM »

The Road to Mecca will be performed in London's Arcola theatre (one of the best fringe theatres in London).  It is on from 15 Jun- 10 Jul 2010.

Click here for more details