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Blood Knot review at MAC Birmingham

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It is a huge challenge to take on a full-length play with only two actors and one set – but this production of Blood Knot pulls it off, keeping the audience gripped not only because of the subtle incisiveness of the writing but also because the performers give their all. Athol Fugard’s gritty play does not flinch from laying bare the crude reality of racism in sixties South Africa. Despite bursts of comedy, it oozes pain, while the cleverly explored importance of superficial appearances remains a relevant issue as is that of living without a future.

The social, cultural and economic difficulties are viewed through the daily life of two mixed-raced brothers: Morris, who is pale enough to pass for a white man, and Zacharia, who is clearly black. Len Trusty gives a great performance as a laid-back Zach, who just gets on with his miserable job and cannot imagine anything but taking one day at a time. The more complex Morris, torn between his looks and his culture, is aptly interpreted by Fidel Nanton. The actors create a successful duo with a palpable chemistry between them.

In their poignantly monotonous routine and penetrating dialogues, one stand-out scene is the riveting flashback into boyhood involving a crazy imaginary car-drive using just a table and plate as props. Set, music and lights are simple but effective, helping create a play of real richness that gives the audience much to think about.

Production Information

MAC, Birmingham , September 30-October 2, then touring

Athol Fugard
Jonathan Savage
Paul Herbert and MAC Productions
Fidel Nanton, Len Trusty
Running time
2hrs 25mins

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