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TWO IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END (article first published : 2006-07-7)

Written and performed by Neil Coppen and Clare Mortimer and directed by Peter Court, Two is the Beginning of the End is being presented on the 2006 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

This play is loosely based on the characters created by J M Barrie in his Peter Pan. It is set on Durban’s South Beach’s Point Road. A prostitute just back from a busy night’s work is interrupted a young man breaking into her room through the window. They are on the eighth floor.

He is searching for something he believes she has hidden from him – his shadow. His name is Peter and he believes she is Wendy from his past in the children’s home. She denies ever knowing him.

The script, written by Mortimer and Coppen, cleverly mirrors the Peter Pan story. The direction creates a good mood, with the characters coming across as well-developed. Award-winning actors Coppen and Mortimer excel again, although Mortimer’s accent is still a little refined for a Point Road prostitute.

Being performed at the Grahamstown festival, though, I believe this play should have been shortened to just one hour to suit the audiences more. This is probably the reason for smaller houses than they would have liked. However, this piece is the kind of gem I would like to see at an arts festival, and there are all too few of them around these days. – Luke Thomas




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