A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

drama
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE FENCE (article first published : 2002-07-1)

Instead of the normal exhortations towards pro-active behaviour from actors presenting a play with a message, as opposed to the average norm of sitting on the fence, Peter Hayes invites his audiences to do exactly the opposite.

His message is: “Gather your prejudices, sit on the fence created by these prejudices in whatever form and the fence will eventually collapse through the sheer weight of its burden”.

A visionary way to solve many of the world’s problems.

In The Fence, Peter Hayes takes the true story of Matthew Shepard’s murder in the state of Wyoming, USA, four years ago and tells it from his own perspective as a gay man. He also draws on press reports and interviews from those involved at the time. Matthew Shepard was assaulted – it is believed because he was gay – by two men in a bar and driven to a remote area where he was beaten and eventually left tied to a fence to perish. He was found some time later and taken to hospital where he later died.

In the intimate area of Vicky’s at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Peter Hayes intimate storytelling is compelling and multi-faceted. He portrays a number of characters, from Matthew Shepard’s mother and father, to a lady police officer and the two murderers. His characterisations are accurate and believable, aided by simple props such as a watch, a pair of sunglasses or a ring. These items he hands out to the audience at the beginning of the play – thereby embodying them with the character the objects represent.

Apart from a racist outburst - which I felt created an imbalance although it was an attempt for Peter Hayes the person to identify with the very issues he was condemning, the actor orchestrates his story and his own response with powerful intensity.

The Fence is a quiet but thundering anthem to those who have been killed because of society’s intolerance. – Caroline Smart




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart