national Arts Festival Banner

Sunday, July 14, 2013


(Mbulelo Grootboom, Terry Norton and Kertrice Maitisa, Picture: Bronwyn Lloyd)

Splendid performance from Mbulelo Grootboom in Mike van Graan play. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Directed by Lara Bye, Terry Norton, Kertrice Maitisa and Mbulelo Grootboom do full justice to Mike van Graan’s incisive and ironic writing in Rainbow Scars which appeared on the National Arts Festival along with several of his other plays.

In 1994 at the birth of the “Rainbow Nation”, Angela Cameron (Terry Norton) did what she felt was the right thing to do in the spirit of reconciliation and adopted the daughter of her late domestic worker.

Rainbow Scars is set in 2012 and Lindiwe (Kertrice Maitisa) is now in her matric year. Their lives are closely intertwined as Angela’s husband is away, serving a jail sentence for fraud. Comfortably seated on the couch working on their laptops, the rapport between mother and daughter is warm, friendly and full of deliciously amusing moments. There is much teasing on both sides and it’s almost a relationship between sisters rather than that of an older woman and a young girl.

Their comfortable existence is shattered by the arrival into their lives of Lindiwe’s cousin, Sicelo (Mbulelo Grootboom).

Sicelo – who we have seen in spotlight on a side stage since the beginning of the play as he continually pleads for a job – is out of work, out of money and of patience. He maintains he is innocent of a crime for which he has been awaiting trial for 14 months and his inner rage is about to explode. This is a splendid performance from Grootboom which reaches impressive heights during his bursts of anger.

He reminds Lindiwe that she has a biological family and her aunt is dying and wants to speak to her. He hurls insults at her, claiming that she is now too “white” to care about her past.

Lindiwe now finds herself at a crossroads, a struggle with her identity. I understand these emotions. At the age of 60 when I discovered that I was adopted, I had the maturity (I hope) to deal with the situation sensibly and pragmatically but I can see how confusion, divided loyalties and unsettlement can take over. Van Graan handles this process with sensitivity and poignancy.

Rainbow Scars is an excellent production from all aspects and definitely deserves seeing if it comes your way. – Caroline Smart