artscape arena | cape town | 2006
Crooked, by John van der Ruit (author of the best-selling novel Spud) had previously been seen in Durban before Artscape engaged Matthew to direct the play for their 2006 Spring Drama season. The play is a violent black comedy about three small-time crooks who kidnap a senior citizen and make disastrous attempts to secure a ransom for her release. Matthew’s production transferred the action of the play to a suburban garage, rather than the disused warehouse stipulated in the script, and juxtaposed disturbing and realistic violence with the grotesque farce of the script, to foreground the writer’s satirical swipes at South Africa’s crime problem. The post-modern production was dense with visual and aural references, with a soundtrack composed of nerve-shredding new music by Shaun Michau and an unlikely mix of excerpts from Hermann’s Psycho score, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and tracks by 50cent, Muse and Paul Simon. Angela Nemov’s set design placed a photo-realistic garage interior, packed with discarded junk, in front of a crudely-painted backdrop portraying a suburban street.
“intelligent gallows-humour … Every one of the actors deserve praise for comic timing, natural delivery and the creation of a believable character” DIE BURGER
“Thompson gives a heartfelt, energetic and riveting performance throughout … superbly performed” CAPE TIMES
‘witty … the script offers some food for thought … the actors give it their best” CAPE ARGUS