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WAR CRY (article first published : 1999-09-16)

Written by John van de Ruit and directed by Tamar Meskin, War Cry is a gripping contemporary play set in an exclusive boys’ boarding school in South Africa, that tells an intriguing story of lies and deceit, trust and betrayal, truth and manipulation.

Two boys share a dormitory in their final year at school. Anthony Bates is a brilliant student with a highly developed sense of honour and his own moral code. Merrick Butcher is a fine athlete and rugby player, whose unique genius is to know how to play the game, both on and off the field. When Anthony is made a prefect, Merrick’s jealousy is ignited. In his desire to destroy Anthony, he sets in motion a chain of events woven from rumour, innuendo and deceit, that ultimately tears at the very fabric of the school.

John van de Ruit, an MA student in the programme, was recently seen in the Kwasuka Theatre’s highly successful production of Master Harold and the Boys. War Cry, his first full-length play, is being premiered as part of the 50th Anniversary Festival celebrating the founding of the Drama and Performance Studies Programme at the University of Natal, Durban. He will take the role of Anthony Bates.

Merrick Butcher is played by Ben Voss who will be remembered for his performance in The Final Cut. The production also features Patrick Kenny and Bruce Piper, supported by students in the Drama and Performance Studies Programme. War Cry is designed by Mervyn McMurtry and runs from September 21 to 25 at 19h30 in the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. There is also a performance at 14h30 on September 25.

Those attending performances of War Cry should stay on after the performances as there will be Platform Performances ranging from stand-up comedy and live bands, to cabaret, performance art and open mike poetry. Details from Claudette Wagner on (031) 260-3133/4 (08h00 to 13h00) or fax (031) 260-1410.


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