One-man award winner

2010-08-31 00:00

ONE of the pick of the crop at this year’s theatrical productions at the Grahamstown Arts Festival was the 2010 Standard­ Bank Ovation Award winner Blood Orange. N ow midlands residents will have the chance to see just why this play has been praised when it is staged at Michaelhouse’s Schlesinger Theatre on September 10 at 7.30 pm.

Award-winning playwright Greig Coetzee­ (White Men with Weapons, Johnny­ Boskak is Feeling Funny, The Blue Period of Milton van der Spuy and Happy Natives) directs Craig Morris in Untouchable Production’s adaptation of Howick Prep old boy Troy Blacklaw’s novel Blood Orange.

The play tells the story of Gecko, a white teenage boy growing up in apartheid South Africa. It explores his childhood in KwaZulu-Natal and his school days in the Cape, where the Simonsberg drinks the blood-orange sun at dusk, and the dark moment when he is conscripted into the army. Described as a “zany Catcher in the Rye’, Blood Orange opens with a man landing on the moon and ends with Nelson Mandela riding a mermaid to freedom.

Morris, who is considered to be one of South Africa’s leading physical theatre exponents, has received awards for his performance in Attachments 1-7, and was selected to perform in the internationally renowned Cirque du Soleil.

In her review of the play, staged at the Grahamstown Festival in June, Fiona Gordon of Cape Town Creatives says: “My interest in Blood Orange was piqued by the involvement of playwright and director Greig Coetzee, but it is the extraordinary­ skill of actor Craig Morris that brings this story of a white boy growing­ up in apartheid South Africa to life.

“References to things of my own childhood, such as the Boswell Wilkie Circus, pepper the text; the only things that accompanies the solo performer on stage is a set of tyres over which he commands remarkable authority, and with which he conjures whole worlds in the imaginations of his audience in an astonishingly tight performance. [This was] Without a doubt one of the highlights of my festival.”

Tickets for Blood Orange are R50. To book, phone Michelle at 033 234 1139.

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