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BLOOD ORANGE (article first published : 2007-01-23)

Blood Orange, which I saw on the last night of the Musho! Festival, is physical theatre at its best, performed tirelessly by a very energetic Craig Morris.

We first meet him as the very young seven year old Gecko and his oblique way of seeing the world. We accompany him through his childhood among the green hills of the then Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal), with his younger brother Zane, his Zulu nanny Beauty and his father and mother. Craig Morris morphs into all the roles, as well as those of his various teachers as we progress through his jagged junior and high school days in the Cape.

These include Miss Fish, Mev. Spies, Mnr Theron (the Principal), Mr Visser and Mr Visoog Vorster. We experience his rights of passage through Illana and his receiving four cuts from Visoog Vorster testing various canes and choosing the best one (acting at its best, by both Visoog and Gekko) as punishment for his thinking of politics. Craig Morris takes on all these roles superbly, even enacting mermaids. The title of the play comes from a blood orange sun sinking behind the mountains.

The performance continues through Gekko being called up to do his military training; his losing his heart to Zelda from Denmark on the beach; his training under the Sergeant Major (Sa Majoor) which is graphically illustrated, and the consequences of this brutal training.

All this is accomplished by the use of four car tyres which are used to illustrate everything to great effect. Excellent support is given by the sound and lighting, very professional.

Blood Orange was written by Troy Blacklaws and has been adapted by Craig Morris and Greig Coetzee. - Maurice Kort




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