24July2017

Entertainment Theatre Review of Blue Iris at the Fugard Theatre

Review of Blue Iris at the Fugard Theatre

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The set of Blue Iris, designed by Dicky Longhurst is sparse, depressing and sets the mood instantly. This is not a happy place.

Farmer Robert Hannay (Graham Weir) labours slowly as he moves rubble from one end of the burnt out farmhouse to the other. Stooped, unkempt with dirty clothes and dishevelled hair, Robert seems in a daze most of the time - his life now revolving around cleaning the husk of his former home to appease the restless ghost of his wife. He is kept company by Rieta Plaasman (Lee-Ann Van Rooi), the daughter of one of his former servants. Van Rooi portrays her character excellently - a stoic, sometimes resigned to life, farm labourer - yet somehow always able to find humour in the situation.

Robert and Rieta's day-to-day routine is shaken up when Robert finds the drawing of a Blue Iris in near pristine condition - the first in a series done by his wife and ultimately a project that kept her occupied in the desolate Karoo for many years. This discovery is the catalyst that brings the ghost of Sally Hannay (Claire Berlein) to the fore in a night of thunderstorms - not unlike the evening that she died of a heart attack. As the thunderstorm grows, so does the tension between Robert and Sally, resulting in a final climactic confrontation, followed by a startling revelation by Rieta...

The characters of Blue Iris are filled with incredible depth, the scars of life and many secrets, making for a thoroughly absorbing production.

Blue Iris is on at the Fugard Theatre Mondays to Saturdays at 8:00pm until 28 July.Tickets are R140.

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