Thursday, March 16, 2017

mar 24 - apr 16 | fugard | the train driver | united players

Don't be confused, now! This isn't the show Pacific Theatre is presenting in our current season from Mar 24 - Apr 9. That's Athol Fugard's VALLEY SONG, which is a remount of the Richmond Gateway's production which I saw on their stage back in 2015 and KNEW it was something the PT audience had to see.  If The Gateway hadn't found it first, we would definitely have produced it ourselves - but their production is soulful and flawless, so we didn't need to!  

But this isn't that show.  This is ANOTHER wonderful play by South Africa's Athol Fugard which is running at pretty much exactly the same time as VALLEY SONG (though the United Players show runs one week longer).  I'm so excited to be able to see both plays back to back: the night after we open at PT on March 24, I'm heading over to the Jericho Arts Centre to see THE TRAIN DRIVER. "Guilt, suffering, redemption..." - sound like Pacific Theatre material?

Fugard is one of those playwrights PT keeps coming back to, along with John Patrick Shanley and Stephen Adley Guirgis (not to mention our own writers like Lucia Frangione and Ron Reed).  In January 2000 we staged one of my own favourite and most memorable productions, MASTER HAROLD... AND THE BOYS; in 2003 we hosted a Guest Production of PLAYLAND, which we staged for ourselves in fall 2010. And for years now I've had ROAD TO MECCA on my shortlist for some future season.   

United Players presents...
by Athol Fugard

March 24 - April 16
Preview: March 23 ($12.00) Opening: March 24
Talkback: March 30
Matinees: April 2 & 16 (no evening performance)
Tickets: $20.00 - $24.00
At the Jericho Arts Centre

Roelf, a train driver, has spent weeks searching for the identities of a mother and child he unintentionally killed with his train on the track between Philippi and Nyanga on South Africa’s Cape Flats. After a fruitless journey through shanty towns, he encounters an old gravedigger named Simon who helps the desperate man unburden his conscience. Based on a true story, Athol Fugard’s beautiful and haunting The Train Driver is a soulful exploration of guilt, suffering, redemption, and the powerful bonds that grow between strangers. “Brave, confrontational and tender... Essential theatre viewing.” Sunday Times, South Africa.

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