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Review: BLOOD KNOT at the Baxter will draw you into Fugard's world

Recipient of 6 Naledi Award nominations including best production

Review: BLOOD KNOT at the Baxter will draw you into Fugard's world

BLOOD KNOT is one of Athol Fugard's older works - set in the 1960s - but it still remains so incredibly relevant. The careful and clever direction by James Ngcobo, mixed with the finely tuned performances of Francois Jacobs and Mncedisi Shabangu, draws you completely into their world. The team strikes an excellent balance between the lighter, comic moments and the hard, cruel truth of the story.

The play revolves around two characters, two brothers - Morris (played by Jacobs) and Zacharia (played by Shabangu). It's set in apartheid South Africa in the early 1960s. The two brothers are living in a shack in the "coloured" section of Port Elizabeth. The marked difference in the two is that Morris has light skin and can pass for white, while Zacharia is much darker and definitely can't. This leaves a distinct imbalance that is clearly felt by both, although they strive to love each other and live together as brothers.

The two actors are so in sync with each other. They are also so in the moment that it's quite amazing to watch. They somehow manage to appear completely natural and react in the moment, even when they're performing choregraphed movements around each other. They've got a wonderful chemistry on stage that works so well.

Review: BLOOD KNOT at the Baxter will draw you into Fugard's world I adored Nadya Cohen's set design. Theatre in the round is such a difficult thing to pull off because you have to consider the view from every angle. I don't think any audience member gets short-changed, regardless of where they're sitting. I certainly didn't from my vantage point. The attention to detail in the set, props and costumes is beautiful. My only little gripe is that after the first boiling of the kettle, they stopped using water and instead had sound effects. If you start with water, why not keep using it? But that's just a minor point.

BLOOD KNOT is a must-see! Go in with your heart open and you'll be rewarded with truth from these two powerful actors.

Photo credit: Supplied

BLOOD KNOT runs at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio until 28 May. Tickets range between R100-R200 and can be bought on Webtickets.

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