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Sunday, July 5, 2015


(Reviews from the artSMart team currently in Grahamstown at the 2015 National Arts Festival)

Hard hitting, poignant and sometimes witty production. (Review by Keith Millar)

The Pink Couch production company from Cape Town is a regular participant on the Fringe at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Their productions have won many Standard Bank Ovation awards over the years. They can always be relied on to stage something a bit different – maybe a little quirky – but always very innovative.

As a result, their works are worth looking out for when making choices of what to see at the festival.

Fatal, which is a new one-man show written and performed by Albert Pretorius and directed by Tara Notcutt, fits the bill perfectly as a Pink Couch production.

It starts with Pretorius’ character, Jason, welcoming the audience to Lucy’s surprise party. He gets audience members to help blow up balloons and randomly hands out cheese curls, beers and glasses of punch. He greets the audience as guests attending the party and throughout he converses directly with them.

As a young man, Jason lived the debauched life of a rock star. He was heavily involved in drinking, drug taking and groupies. However, over time he has cleaned up his act and qualified as a school teacher. The most important factor in his life now is Lucy. He is passionately in love with her, and has arranged a surprise party for her birthday.

While he is waiting for Lucy to arrive, Jason’s behaviour become increasingly bizarre, manic and desperate. He dresses in a weird assortment of clothes, sprouts poetry, and indulges in an erratic dance to BeyoncĂ©’s Single Lady.

It soon becomes apparent that all is not as it should be.

Albert Pretorius is a compelling actor. He puts in a powerful, emotion charged performance as Jason. He creates a multi-dimensional character who takes a cynical view of all the paradoxes of life. The conclusion he draws is that living is the hardest thing you will do, and in the end it will be fatal.

Fatal is a hard hitting, poignant and sometimes witty production. It can be seen at the Princess Alice Hall in African Street, Grahamstown, at 14h30 from July 9 to 11. – Keith Millar

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