Painting a Wall
From: Tuesday, 12th May 2009
To: Saturday, 6 June 2009
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Cape Town 1970. Painting a Wall follows the day in the life of four 'Coloured' 'South African painters, living under apartheid. We follow them in their task of painting public walls government-regulation white. They’ve got one hour to do it and they’ve got to hurry up about it, or risk no pay and harsh punishment. The only thing is... they’ve been given the wrong colour paint... Stephen Daldry called Painting a Wall a 'hugely effective, deeply emotional attack on a political system', but avoiding political debate, it focuses simply on the painters - Henry, Peter, Willy and Samson - and their jokes, dreams and vivid storytelling as they work together to triumph over the struggles and frustrations of their lives.
15 May 2009
"Technical difficulties" delaying the start of a show by 45 minutes never bode well. Sadly, in this case, it pretty much went downhill from there. The advertised running time of 60 minutes then expanded tediously to 75 by ponderous direction which stopped what little drama there was dead in its tracks far too often.
Painting a Wall is set in Cape Town in 1974. Three men and a boy are tasked with painting a wall. They have one hour in which to accomplish this if they are to be paid. Only they find, when they open the paint cans, they have been given green paint, when they have been told to paint the wall white. They paint the wall anyway. Writer David Lan thus trowels on some heavy-handed allegory on the theme of being the "wrong" colour but succeeding anyway, with a few eloquent passages about the importance of owning language and names, and the pain of loss. But Titas Halder's direction is so leisurely and lacking in pace, that any meaning is soon lost in a sea of boredom...
Latest User Review
Roland Burr - 19 May 2009:
The WoS wos reviewer is being unreasonably harsh - the production was superb and the cast, in this intimate little theatre, really held the audience's attention. It's easy to be cyncical in hindsight (about the themes of the play) but this is a warm and enjoyable play which has clearly had much thought and care put into it. The restaurant downstairs is great too and the staff are really friendly :) RB...