The last time that playwright Louis Viljoen and director Greg Karvellas teamed up with actors Mark Elderkin and Nicholas Pauling, the result was the award-winning Champ
. Now it looks like they've got another hit on their hands in The Frontiersmen, a dark tale of sex, drugs, and property development.
The story follows two men who do the unthinkable in order to secure a lucrative contract. We then watch as they struggle to come to terms with who they are, what they've done, and where their lives could be heading next. Along with scathing social commentary about the state of our country's urbanisation, it's a fascinating exploration into how ambition and good old-fashioned greed can push us to extremes.
Very graphic language
Vivid characters would be nothing without vivid dialogue and The Frontiersmen has plenty of that. The fast-paced text, which flows effortlessly between the leads, includes language so graphic that you can't help but picture exactly what's being described, even when you'd rather not. And yet it all feels completely authentic in this setting and for these characters, who could (and maybe do) exist.
"The writing is unlike anything I've read before," Elderkin said in an interview with Peter Tromp. "It's brutal. If you like your theatre experience warm and fuzzy, this isn't the play for you. However, if you can accept that we live in a world that has a dark-and-dirty layer to it, then come watch this play."The Frontiersmen (PG-16) is at Cape Town's Alexander Bar until 12 October. Tickets are available from www.alexanderbar.co.za.