South African Well Being Receives London PremiereDate: 8 April 2002
Award-winning South African play The Well Being receives its London premiere this week ahead of a six-venue UK tour. The production from the Johannesburg-based Mouthpeace Theatre company runs at west London's Riverside Studios from 10 April to 1 May 2002 (previews from 8 April).
Using just a paper-covered stage, a bucket and a large watermelon, physical performers Andrew Buckland and Lionel Newton - who co-authored the play along with director Lara Foot Newton - conjure up an entire close-minded society driven to a witch hunt by meteorological disasters.
Following devastating floods then scorching droughts, the inhabitants of a small village make a scapegoat of young Flo Deluge, the recluse who lives in a forest and befriends a randy passing porpoise. The modern folk story has been billed as a southern hemisphere Stones in His Pockets.
The Well Being was first seen at Johannesburg's Market Theatre and has toured throughout South Africa, visited Sweden, Belgium, Zimbabwe and Zambia. A hit at last year's Edinburgh Festival, it was nominated for The Stage award for Acting Excellence and came second in The Scotsman's readers' choice for Pick of the Fringe.
The play is the third collaboration for three-times Fringe First winners Mouthpeace Theatre, following Feedback and Beckett's End Game. Following its London season, The Well Being continues until 8 June 2002 to Brighton, High Wycombe, Belfast, Dublin and Manchester.
- by Terri Paddock