UCT Drama Department to Present A LIE OF THE MIND, 1-8 March
The American Sam Shepard has been described as the 'greatest American playwright of his generation'. His play A LIE OF THE MIND opened in New York in 1985 and received its British premiere at the Royal Court in 1987. Shepard is difficult to define - absurd, surreal and satirical are some of the labels thrown at him. In this play he seems to hark back to the traditions of Eugene O' Neil and Tennessee Williams, in presenting the all-American family battle, in particular between the sexes.
Jake is an unpleasant psychopath who has beaten his wife Beth and left her for dead. The play charts their uncertain course back together, via a return to their respective families. The characters are clever caricatures: Jake's possessive mother, hoping against hope that she has her boy back for good; Beth's mother, fretfully anxious everything must be 'nice'; and her coarse macho husband, obsessed with hunting.
In the play Shepard heaves in all the themes common to his works: love, the bad seed or dynastic 'curse', the unwilling, martyred paterfamilias and warring siblings. The play, moving and highly entertaining, is filled with a sense that those we love or hate are forever walking about inside us. 'Lying' gives the play its increasingly absurdist air. In their fear of truth, nearly all the characters are spectacularly self-deluding. Beth believes she is married to Jake's brother, who has come to see whether she is still alive and ends up with a bullet through his thigh. Jake cannot face the memory of his father's death, though he fondles the box of ashes like Hamlet with Yorick's skull. Neither mother will admit that Jake and Beth are married. It is left to the siblings to offer sanity or provide some sort of moral sense.
A LIE OF THE MIND starts at 7.30pm. Book online at www.webtickets.co.za.