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Solomon and Marion (Edinburgh Fringe)

Janet Suzman stars in this South African drama written and directed by Lara Foot, which runs as part of the South African Season at Assembly Hall

By • Scotland
WOS Rating:

Janet Suzman, no less, plays a feisty, indomitable widowed granny, Marion, writing to her daughter in Australia from the home she refuses to leave in the South African outback.

She's being stalked by 20-year old Solomon, whose grandma used to clean for Marion, at first suspiciously, later, affectionately... Lara Foot's production of her own play is a lyrical, reconciliatory message from the "new" South Africa as it prepares for the World Cup Finals in the shadow of farmland reclamation.

A confrontation that could have been schmaltzy is in fact hard-nosed and finally moving, not least because of Suzman's great heart and undiminished power; she's a lioness, still, on the stage, and it's wonderful to see her engaging again with the dangerous period of adjustment in her homeland.

Suzman naturally takes top billing, but she's not paired with a mere foil (though they might have put his name on the flyer; no programmes available): Khayalethu Anthony is superb as Solomon, witness of an atrocity seven years ago that haunts Marion and for which she finds uneasy solace in his company.

The letter is finally completed and agreement struck in a deeply touching and optimistic finale; the other side of the same coin spun in a different theatrical grammar in the Brechtian, ferocious mini-epic Cadre at the Traverse.

Solomon and Marion continues at Assembly Hall as part of the South African Season until 26 August

Tags: EdFringeEdinburgh FestivalJanet SuzmanAssembly


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