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More on LitNet
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A UK premiere from one of South Africaís leading playwrights

Press release

The parrot woman

by Charles J Fourie

Directed and designed by Neville Engelbrecht
Cast: Charles J Fourie, Christine Trüter

The Finborough Theatre, London, 11 and 12 June
The Burton Taylor Theatre, Oxford, 19 – 21 June

presented by Cape Theatre Ensemble

Against the harsh backdrop of the Boer War between Great Britain and the former republics of South Africa in 1901, a woman is found on a farm with the bodies of her husband and children. Before being brought to trial she is guarded in a concentration camp by a traitorous soldier who battles with his own conscience. As the two of them attempt to escape the ravages of war, the truth surrounding the murder of her family is explosively revealed. First staged at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, in 1990, The Parrot Woman has been performed throughout South Africa, including seasons at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival (where it won a Pick of the Fringe Award), The Hilton Arts Festival, Pietermaritzburg, and Theatre on the Bay, Cape Town.

The cast includes Christine Trüter (Yerma, Libertas Amphitheatre, Stellenbosch; Spanner, Spier Summer Festival, Cape Town; and the feature film Twelve Days of Terror), in the role of the Afrikaner woman imprisoned in a British concentration camp, and playwright/actor Charles J Fourie, who has written many critically acclaimed plays staged in South Africa and internationally. Recent productions of Fourie’s work include Big Boys (West Coast Ensemble Theatre, Los Angeles and Warehouse Theatre, London), Vrygrond (Arena Theatre, Cape Town), The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife with Samantha Bond in a staged reading at The Old Vic, Crimebabies (Market Theatre, Johannesburg), Stander (Baxter Theatre, Cape Town), Demjanjuk (Little Theatre, Cape Town) and Vrededorp/Fietas (Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn). Three of his plays have been adapted as feature films for South African TV. He has been the recipient of the South African Amstel Playwright of the Year award on two occasions, the SACPAC Playwright award, and AA LIFE Best New Play award; and in 2005 he received the KKNK/Nagtegaal award for Vrededorp/Fietas. His extensive acting credits include Grot van die kaalkoppe (State Theatre), Vleuels (SABC), Sodom (Baxter Theatre), My Verwoerd (High Street Theatre), and The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife (M-Net).

Director/Designer Neville Engelbrecht works internationally. Recent credits include the multi-award-winning production of Salaam Stories by Ashraf Johaardien (Baxter Theatre, Cape Town/Circle East Theater Company, New York), Sara Baartman by Seoko Lee (South Africa/Seoul, Korea), and Snowman by Greg MacArthur (Baxter Theatre in association with the Canadian Arts Council). His current production, “Happy Endings” Are Extra, was invited to the 2006 Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival. He has also worked as stage manager with Athol Fugard (Sorrows and Rejoicings,Tricycle Theatre, London), Janet Suzman (Hamlet, Baxter Theatre) and Antony Sher (Primo, Baxter Theatre).

PRESS ACCLAIM FOR THE PARROT WOMAN

"Fourie's fragmentary writing style keeps you on your toes throughout the mesmerising performance." - Andrea Vinassa, Mail&Guardian, Johannesburg.

"Tautly directed … a remarkable piece of theatre." - Marilyn Jenkins, The Citizen, Johannesburg.

"Gripping theatre" - Derek Wilson, The Argus, Cape Town.

"Disturbing, prophetic theatre." - Adrienne Sichel, The Star, Johannesburg.


LitNet: 6 June 2006

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