A stunning, thought-provoking piece of theatre

2013-01-24 00:00

SINCE premiering at the National Arts Festival in 2008, where it quickly became a hit, Pictures of You, has travelled the length and breadth of South Africa, captivating audiences along the way.

I first saw Rob Murray’s beautiful two-hander at The Witness Hilton Arts Festival in 2009, and found it a delight. It’s a powerful story of a couple who are having problems communicating, delivered by two actors who don’t say a word.

Pictures of You returns to the Midlands next week for a two-day run at The Theatre at St Anne’s College in Hilton.

Starring Liezl de Kock, a Fleur du Cap best actress nominee and Dorian Burstein, and devised and directed by Murray, 2010 international Rolex mentor and protégé nominee, and Fleur du Cap award winner, the play uses masks and puppets by Janni Younge, the Standard Bank young artist of the year for theatre 2010, and sound design by James Webb, Fleur du Cap 2012 winner, to tell its poignant tale.

At first sight, Frank and Janet’s marriage seems to be the picture of perfection: neat, ordered, and respectable. But underneath this apparent contentment lie buried secrets and repressed desires, sterility and barrenness, and a history of violence that begins leaking out when Frank starts to dream.

In those dreams, he meets, and begins to court, a fantasy woman, and as his obsession with this dream creature grows, the thin line between dreaming and reality, between sanity and insanity, and finally between life and death, becomes progressively more blurred.

“Grappling with issues such as fear, violence, healing, and ultimately transformation and forgiveness, the 65-minute play interrogates the notion of home and a safety that we try to create for ourselves. It leads its characters on a journey through private hell towards their own personal reconciliation, and ultimately self-acceptance,” Lyn Chemaly, the theatre director says of Pictures of You.

I couldn’t agree more. Pictures of You is a stunning, thought-provoking piece of theatre. So, if you missed seeing it at The Witness Hilton Arts Festival, make sure you book seats to see this Midlands’ performance.

• Pictures of You can be seen at 7.30 pm, on January 30 and 31, at The Theatre, at St Anne’s College. Tickets cost R70 (R50 concessions). To book, phone 033 343 6100.

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