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POLLOCK AND THE XMAS HOLLY (article first published : 2001-09-25)

Pollock and the Xmas Holly is currently touring South Africa after a sell-out run in California. Praised as much for his good looks as his performance, American actor David Wakelin has wowed audiences with a show that redefines the boundaries of the stage in the same way that Jackson Pollock redefined the picture plane.

Pollock was arguably the forefather of American Modernism, creating enormous canvases of dribbled and splashed household paints using a stick instead of a paintbrush. According to David Wakelin, theatre is like grocery shopping from a lucky-dip packet – “you never know what you’re going to get.” He warns that like Pollock’s paintings, the show is guaranteed to inspire confrontation and debate, perhaps even resentment. Nevertheless the script will see to it that no-one leaves the auditorium unmoved or unchallenged.

Pollock’s passion and almost choreographed ballet across the canvas is echoed in a performance that draws the audience into a web of private and universal exploration. Paint flies in all directions and mingles with the sweat and tears of the performer. Wakelin is a master of his craft, bringing to life the artistry of a man who died after a short life battling the lure of alcohol and giving in to bouts of manic anger.

This show is age restricted and audiences are warned to expect the unexpected.

Pollock and the Xmas Holly has a short run at the Square Space Theatre from September 25 to October 6. Tickets booked through Computicket or available or at the door.




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