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Saturday, May 21, 2022


(Above: Natasha Sutherland & Jessica Wolhuter. Photo: Philip Kuhn)

The three actors on stage were simply remarkable and drive the audience to tears with their emotional renditions of their characters and the plot. (Review by Verne Rowin Munsamy)

Going going into the sunset...

The Playhouse Company in Durban is proud to host their annual New Stages festival. Each year, artists are screened and selected to present new shows in various categories of performance.

Last night, I was treated to a well-executed drama after many years. Domestic violence has increased in South Africa ever since the implementation of Lockdown in South Africa and in many countries around the globe but the history of it is steeped in politics. Predemocracy never policed domestic violence and despite legal efforts, domestic violence is still on the increase. The story of Tracy Going, a South African journalist and television presenter shocked audiences to hear of her strife with domestic violence. Brutal Legacy is a theatrical interpretation of Going's horrific encounters with an abusive partner.

The story is written with sharp-edged wit and complex layers as it recognizes the generational violence and cycle of abuse. The reasoned Tracy is found trying to piece together the history of her lived experiences and is accompanied by her younger self. Both seeking justice by recounting this story and also self-forgiveness. The three actors on stage were simply remarkable and drive the audience to tears with their emotional renditions of their characters and the plot. The direction is sensitive and well thought-out as the journey of the protagonist unfolds with depth and nuances.

The set is that of a living room and a dining area with stools and a door hanging from the ceiling as if to exemplify the topsy-turvy feeling that domestic violence embodies for the sufferers. Luggage is placed all around as if to represent the emotional baggage that the traumatized individual carries throughout their lives. The projection screen identifies actual photographs of Going and the incident that was tried in court. The sticky notes placed on a board and on the floor represented fragments of memory that shattered during the traumatic experience.

For many who grew up with domestic violence as part of their lived experiences, even happy memories are overshadowed by violence and trauma. This show is a testimony of that history. I applaud the team that conceived and executed this production as it is a message that many must hear and even more must overcome. There are too many loved ones lost by the firm hands of loved ones. We must create a new pathway where victims know that someone will come to help! Hard off to the producers and actors for braving such a pertinent issue.

Directed by Lesedi Job, Brutal Legacy stars Natasha Sutherland alongside Jessica Wolhuter and Charlie Bougenon.

Only two shows left – tonight (May 21) at 19h00 and tomorrow (May 22) at 14h30. Tickets R120. Bookings through - Verne Rowin Munsamy