Thursday, 10 June 2010


7/6/10, Trafalgar Studios

Janet Suzman giving a powerful performance in a serious and intense play by Craig Higginson about an elderly white South African woman, husband suffering from Alzheimer's, on the point of leaving the farm on which she's lived most of her life for retirement by the sea.

She's interrupted by a young man, an executive with the developers about to turn the place into houses for the rich, who turns out to be the child (known as "Look Smart") of one of the farm workers who was effectively fostered by the white woman. He arrives, sharply-suited and aggressively polite, almost spitting out the word "madam!" with which he constantly addresses her.

As time goes by he mellows and a dreadful story emerges of (if I remember rightly) a young woman sexually exploited by the husband and then killed when he releases his vicious dog on her: the woman is in denial, the young man has been running away from this fact and from his ambiguous status in childhood and has now returned to... gloat? extract revenge? shine light on to dark doings? All of the above, perhaps. The play is about coming to terms with the past, about memory,

Absolutely superlative performance by Suzman, right close up in a tiny space (the Trafalgar's Studio Two) and another almost as good by Ariyon Bakare.

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