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While the first half of this play is as all-consuming and absorbing as Fugard's best, the second half is not. All of a sudden (right around the crisis point, as Helen is forced to choose between giving in to the wishes of church and town authorities and entering an old age home, and remaining true to herself and her artistic vision, and hanging on to her rapidly fading independence), the listener is abruptly yanked out of the theatrical illusion and becomes acutely aware that s/he is merely sitting through a theme-crowded third act. I think if Fugard had not tried to cram in almost every possible theme--from romantic love, to religion and spirituality, to senility, suicide and the nature of madness, to art versus profanity, to the consequences of everything from abortion and adultery to apartheid and angels--I would have remained transfixed until the final words of the play. As it is, however, I can only rate this production so highly because of the exceptional production values and the knockout performances by lead actors Julie Harris and the unfailingly incandescent Amy Irving. Because of them, I consider this a credit well spent, and will likely listen again.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful
Superb. I had only known Master Harold & the Boys. And the performances are truly riveting.
Deep, meaningful and moving work of art, but marred slightly by a week ending, which felt a bit like a soap opera.
The performance was good, but the accents were slightly unsatisfactory.
But for the above detractions, I loved it, and would highly recommend it.