Birmingham and London
SOLOMON AND MARION: Lara Foot
Birmingham Rep, Baxter Theatre, Print Room
Birmingham Rep: 16 Oct – 1 November
The Print Room: 4 – 29 Nov
Review: Birmingham Rep 22 10 14, Alexander Ray Edser
A moving story, beautifully told.
SOLOMON AND MARION – a simple title for a simple play; two people meet and talk. In a way, you get what it ways on the tin. On the other hand this play works on many levels at once – political, social, personal.
Solomon is the grandson of a black South African who used to come in and do the washing once a week for white South African, Marion. Marion is much older now, seemingly unwell, and set in her ways. Set against recent political changes in South Africa, the play, told in short snapshots, tells the story of their developing relationship. This journey is not easy; though, with every fibre of our being, we will it to be successful.
Janet Suzman creates Marion for us. It is a thrilling experience to engage with her intensity, her truth, her humanity. To be annoyed by her, we think, irrational irascibility, but to never lose touch with her. And Suzman makes it look so effortless. She really is one of the world’s great women actors.
So it’s a tough job for Khayalethu Anthony as Solomon. But he succeeds in his challenge. Solomon is warm and vulnerable. Though at times, dangerous too. At his most emotional, his manner of telling his story has an air of mystery to us – we are never quite sure of his place within the story (as he is telling it) which ratchets up the tension.
Fine writing from Lara Foot. She directs her play, enables the performance to find its own rhythm – it’s never rushed but the engagement never falters.
SOLOMON AND MARION is a fine jewel.
Marion: Janet Suzman
Solomon: Khayalethu Anthony
Lara Foot: Director
Patrick Curtis: Designer
Mannie Manim: Lighting Designer