Statements After An Arrest Under The Immorality Act

February 15, 2018

in Plays

Play (1972)
by Athol Fugard

Directed by Jim Petosa

New Repertory Theater
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
January 27 – March 3, 2018

With Eve Kagan (White Woman), Michael Ofori (Colored Man), Tim Spears (Policeman)

Michael Ofori Eve Kagan

Michael Ofori and Eve Kagan
in “Statements After An Arrest Under The Immorality Act”
Photo: Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures
Courtesy of New Repertory Theater

An account of a forbidden interracial romance under apartheid in South Africa.

This play, done almost entirely with the two principal characters in the nude, is upsetting, strong, confined, and redolent of the intolerance that prevailed in South Africa under apartheid.

The white woman (Eve Kagan), a librarian, has fallen in love with the black man (Michael Ofori), who has sought help and knowledge from her. Though he is married, their torrid, illicit and illegal love prevails. The forbidden relationship, heightened in presentation by the nakedness of the characters, takes on a particular ferocity and vulnerability in its continued presentation of the unbridled passion and the continuing threat of discovery.

Presented in one fell swoop of ninety minutes, this show, raw and vivid in so many ways, holds to the theme of Resilience that the New Rep is exploring throughout this season’s efforts. The sheer terror of these characters caught in their literal and moral nakedness in the midst of enveloping tyranny notably embodies that theme. The injustices of the consequences reverberate and the focus on the illegality of the encounter, despite its adulterous side, is what echoes as the significant incriminating feature of the political and social context.

The principal actors do a creditable job of exhibiting this passion under terror. Tim Spears, who plays an entirely different an far more sympathetic role in New Rep’s concurrent production of Lonely Planet, stands in as a creepy policeman.

– BADMan

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