Saturday, November 27, 2010

Playland - the Play

Pacific Theatre ( 604-731 5518) presented Playland, the powerful play by playwright Athol Fugard. It first debuted in Johannesburg in July 1992. Michael Kopsa plays Gideon an Afrikaner Corporal. He is a truly amazing actor. I began by hating this loud drunken lout only to be changed by his performance as the depth of his post traumatic stress disorder were revealed. He personally represents White South Africa and the play directed by Anthony Ingram becomes universal through the personal expression of this man's tortured soul. Tom Pickett plays Martinus, the black South African who has his own demons that eventually see the light of day through the most extraordinary acting imaginable. These two men open their hearts, minds and souls in a way which few outside the world of men and war are ever allowed to see. The healing process implicit in their struggle is palpable on stage. Having treated so many soldiers and prisoners, known PTSD intimately, I truthfully felt like I was in my clinic among the wounded looking for meaning after the insaniety of politics had passed them by. The play really goes to the core of our beliefs about forgiveness and reconciliation.

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