Purgatorio

Ariel Dorfman’s thrilling play Purgatorio, starring Dawid Minnaar and Terry Norton, comes to the Baxter after its premiere at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.

From the Press Release: “Following its premiere at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, from 30 June to 2 July, Ariel Dorfman’s riveting play Purgatorio, starring two of South Africa’s top actors, comes to Flipside at the Baxter from 7 to 30 July. Clare Stopford directs well-known theatre, television and film actors Dawid Minnaar and Terry Norton in a thrilling two-hander which deals with a Man and a Woman groping for understanding, forgiveness and redemption. Hypnotic and mesmerising, their fates are bound together by a horrific past, and freedom depends on their willingness to sacrifice themselves. As their identities unfold in the drama, it emerges that they are each other’s interrogators, searching for mercy and repentance in this re-imagined follow-up to the ancient Greek myth of Jason and Medea. Ariel Dorfman, an acclaimed novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, journalist and political commentator, well-known for works such as Death and the Maiden (for which he won an Olivier Award), Reader and Widows, is extremely excited about his play being staged in South Africa. “It is a country that has been through so much pain and struggle against deception as much as it has against oppression. I think it will take on a deeper meaning with Cape Town audiences and artists,” said Dorfman.About Purgatorio he explains, “I had been wondering for a long time about the terrible things we humans do to one another, and how – indeed if – there can be some sort of reparation. I particularly loved the challenge of writing a piece that transpires in the landscape of the mutual mind, meaning that what we are seeing is the place where two souls meet and fight and discover they will always be lonely and, simultaneously, that they will always have the other close by, waiting, twinned for eternity. It can be seen as a poetic enquiry into the themes of forgiveness and retribution.” Last year Dorfman attended a performed reading of Purgatorio at the Baxter Theatre Centre when he was in South Africa to deliver the prestigious Eighth Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. Time magazine has named him a “literary grandmaster” and Newsweek called him “one of the greatest living Latin American novelists”. The Guardian and Seattle Post Intelligencer have described his work as “fascinating, brilliant, elegantly funny yet dramatically intelligent.” He is a Chilean citizen who was forced into exile in the USA after the 1973 coup that overthrew Allende and currently is a professor at Duke University in North Carolina. Dawid Minnaar and Terry Norton tackle the complex and powerful roles of the Man and Woman in Purgatorio with great skill. Minnaar is well-known for his roles in popular soapies such as SABC 2’s 7de Laan (in the role of Leon de Lange) and M-net’s Binneland Sub Judice (as Dr Franz Basson). Terry Norton was recently seen in the hit movie Spud and is also well-known for her roles as Trish Greeff on Egoli: Place of Gold and Lucille Spencer in the SABC 2 drama series Erfsondes. She has also starred in the mini-series Land of Thirst and has won Fleur du Cap Best Actress awards for A Doll’s House, Beautiful Thing and The Great Outdoors. The creative team comprises the award-winning Patrick Curtis as lighting designer, Leo Senekal as set designer and Kai Losgott as videographer. This riveting drama will leave audiences questioning whether trust and redemption are really possible after violence and betrayal and it is not recommended for children under the age of 11. Booking for Purgatorio is through Computicket on 083 915 8000, on-line at www.computicket.co.za or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. Ticket prices for the Baxter season from 7 to 30 July range from R100 to R130. ”