Cast & Crew
|Johnnie||T. Bone Wilson|
The Stage – 19 July 1979
THE BRITISH premiere of a play by Athol Fugard is to be regarded as something of a theatrical event and this community theatre group, in their headquarters at St Matthews Meeting Place (a cavernous Victorian church opposite the Town Hall with plentv of space for classes. games, performances and refresh ments), are to be congratulated on bringing “Nongogo” to our stages. The title, apparently, refers to a cut- price whore. Queenie is the lady in question, now selling watered-down liquor at inflated prices to the Black com munity of Johannesburg. Between her two careers, she has put away a fair amount of money but, to the horror of her supplier Sam, is prepared to go into partnership with an honest man. This is Johnny, strait- laced and straight-living after some horrifying experiences as a youth in the mines. Between Sam. her hunchbacked helper and a regular customer (celebrating the simult aneous birth of his fifth and sixth child) Queenie and Johnny don’t have a hope in hell or out of it. Jimi Rand’s direction and design are excellent. Nadia Cattouse is very good indeed as Queenie, although perhaps a little too attractive for such hard living. T. Bone Wilson makes Johnnie strong as well as sympathetic and Jason Rose does a good job of transforming himself into a dead-ringer for Quasimodo. The cast is completed by Bob Philips as Patrick of the large family and by Lee Davis, who gives a fine perfor mance as Sam. This is a production of an important play which deserves to be seen more widely; it bears comparison with more highly sub sidised and prestigious theatre groups.
report by Anne Morley-Priestman
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