Shaq Taylor performs in Athol Fugard’s Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act.
The play will be directed by this years JMK Award winner, Diane Page, who brings her vision of the play to Orange Tree Theatre 28 August – 2 October.
You’re starring in Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act, what can you tell us about the play?
So, without giving too much away, the play centres around the relationship between two lovers, both of which are from two different communities/races. It’s set in South African during the Apartheid, in a time where one race is lawfully oppressed and the other lives in power. The play explores how love can be found despite this, and if love can ever truly ‘be’ in such a regime.
What were your first thoughts when you read the script?
How incredibly poetic it is. The raw truth in the script mixed with its poetic nature drew my attention straightaway and I’m amazed by how it can be laid out it with such beautiful structure yet be full of such heart-breaking context and content.
Tell us more about Errol, and why this character appealed to you?
Errol is a man of the people and has so much to give, he is like a sponge when it comes to knowledge
and he just wants to share it. He’s a warm character and wants more for himself and for others around him, but these qualities also are a reminder he’s only human and in no way perfect and he feels hurt, anger, guilt, shame, and love, and has to deal with all these emotions just like any other human.
What is it about Athol Fugard’s writing that really excites you?
Going back to the poetic theme, I love how he seamlessly intertwines the ugly truth into a love story that essentially has made it such a timeless piece that is as current as ever today. It’s really a play that everyone should see in this day and age, as some of the themes I feel should be highlighted across the western world.
What have you learnt from working with JMK Award Winner Diane Page?
Diane is so generous and insightful as both a director and a human being, so working with her comes with a sense of freedom and a safe space to discuss and create together. She continuously teaches us that our safety should come first, whether that be mentally or physically, in all creative spaces – no matter how much we sacrifice ourselves.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act?
Come with an open mind, expect to be challenged mentally and emotionally! You’ll be shown how love can be found during one of darkest regimes in history and explore if love can survive through it.