Lara Foot’s play gives us a slice of modern post-apartheid South African that, whilst avoiding most of the clichés of this complex country, still looks at the consequences of colonialism, white rule, liberation struggled for and liberation achieved, and gives it two very human faces. Janet Suzman’s Marion lives alone, occupying her time by writing to her daughter in Australia. Out of the blue Solomon, the grandson of her former washing woman, arrives claiming he has been asked to look in on her. After initial suspicion, a relationship builds and stories and experiences are shared.
Foot’s writing subtly lifts the layers from their stories scene by scene and although the audience can feel something coming, the final revelation is both shocking and somehow inevitable. Suzman is excellent as Marion, hiding a deep pain with bluffness and exasperation at the world around her, but the real find is Khayalethu Anthony as Solomon. A brave and honest performance he keeps his character’s cards close to his chest and when he finally does open his heart the result is electrifying. Written and performed with great honesty and compassion, this is theatre which beautifully balances intelligence with feeling.