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FULL CIRCLE (article first published : 2006-09-26)

Blue Hug Theatre Company is to present the UK premiere of Full Circle, the award winning play by critically acclaimed South African poet and playwright Kobus Moolman.

Full Circle won the 2004 Performing Arts Network of South Africa Audience Award for new writing before transferring to the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. This production at the Oval House Theatre in London will be the first time the play has been seen outside South Africa.

The story deals with brother and sister Meisie and Boetie. Fifteen years ago, their father was killed when his car was hijacked. Meisie was with her father in the car but, being blind, she did not see the hijacker’s face. The police never found the killer but Meisie never forgot the voice that had laughed as her father was shot.

The setting of the play is South Africa 1994. Meisie and Boetie now live with their uncle on what remains of the family farm: the end of the apartheid era having caused a sharp decline in their fortunes. With other white Afrikaner extremists, they plan to attack South Africa’s first democratically elected government. One day, a black police inspector arrives at the farm. The cause of his visit is routine but to Meisie he seems strangely familiar…

Full Circle is an explosive drama exploring religious fundamentalism, terrorism and fear in a post-apartheid South Africa where things can no longer be seen as simply black and white. While what unfolds during the course of this gripping play is entirely imagined, the background events are real: the subject matter draws on the boeremag, a planned attack on the new government by white ultra-nationalists.

The play exposes the threat that lies within the shadow of the Rainbow Nation, an opposition motivated by unassailable belief in a god-given right to supremacy and dominion. The poetic qualities of Kobus Moolman’s writing create a powerful drama which investigates the complexities of the situation in South Africa immediately after the 1994 democratic elections.

The part of Meisie, the blind protagonist of Full Circle, will be played by award-winning visually impaired actress Sarah Caltieri. The three week run of Full Circle at Oval House Theatre will be supported by three audio-described performances. This emphasis on widening access reflects the artistic policy of Blue Hug Theatre Company and represents an extension of Oval House Theatre’s celebrated history of work with members of the disability arts community.

Director Rachel Briscoe has worked as assistant director at the Royal Court, the Soho Theatre and at BAC and has directed at the Arcola Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe. Recent work by designer James Humphrey includes A Dulditch Angel (Sir John Mills Theatre/ National tour), The Comedy of Errors (Embassy Theatre) and A Minute Too Late (National Theatre, co-design with Tom Pye). Lighting design by Katharine Williams, whose recent projects include Astronaut (Pit, Barbican) and Play and Not I (BAC).

The cast includes Sarah Caltieri, Steven Farah, Jack Klaff and Richard Pepple.

Full Circle runs from October 31 to November 18 and forms a part of the Oval House Southern African Season 2006. The production is generously supported by Arts Council England, Unity Theatre Trust, Lambeth Community Chest, Lambeth Endowed Charities and Dolphin UK.




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