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Preview: PLAYLAND

Elysium Theatre is making a welcome return to the North West after sold-out and critically acclaimed productions at HOME in 2018 and Hope Mill Theatre in 2019.

Elysium was founded by Jake Murray, Danny Solomon and Hannah Ellis Ryan. It is currently Company In Residence at the Assembly Rooms, Durham.

Their next production is the Northern Premiere of South African playwright and novelist Athol Fugard’s PLAYLAND. It is running as part of Black History Month, and was the last play that Fugard wrote under Apartheid.

“Set on New Year’s Eve 1989, only a month or so prior to Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, the Cold War is over, the world is changing, and two men encounter one another in a remote corner of Playland – a run-down funfair somewhere in the vast wilderness known as the Karoo.”

One of these men is a white ex-soldier fresh from the Border War in Namibia and suffering PTSD. The other is a black night-watchman who murdered his white boss a decade earlier for raping his wife. They confront each other, each of them fleeing from the demons of their past. Neither are able to escape what they have done. They “must work out their own redemption as they beat against the limits of forgiveness.”

PLAYLAND will see the reunion of actors Danny Solomon and Faz Singhateh. They first performed together in Elysium’s acclaimed Jesus Hopped The A Train at HOME last year.

This will be Solomon’s sixth and Singhateh’s second show for the company.

Multi-award winning director Jake Murray is the director of this production.

He comments: “In our modern era in which racial and religious divisions are re-asserting themselves all across the world in our political lives, PLAYLAND could not be more relevant or timely and I am very excited to bring this play to the North West and East for the first time.

PLAYLAND is both a beautiful and moving play that resonates far beyond its immediate context to become about pain and reconciliation, guilt and repentance, the possibility of understanding across racial and political divides and the limitations of forgiveness. It reminds us of how it was when those divisions were at their most vicious, and the damage they caused when imposed across society.”

PLAYLAND runs at The Empty Space, Footlights House, Media City from 24th until 26th October.

Tags: Apartheid, athol fugard, elysium theatre, elysiumtc, footlights, footlights house, playland, South Africa

Jay Darcy

Theatre Editor. Opinion Contributor. Politics and IR Student. Instagram & Twitter: @jaydarcy7. Snapchat: theonlywayisjam. To write for theatre, email [email protected]

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