Brought together by rising crime
Written by Nicholas Spagnoletti in collaboration with (director) Lara Bye, London Road tells the story of two woman in Sea Point who are brought together by the rising crime in the area. Stella (Ntomboxolo Makhutshi) plays a (rather exploited) Nigerian woman living on her own, in a damp converted storage room in a block of flats in London Road. Rosa (Robyn Scott) is an elderly Jewish lady whose family had all but abandoned her through emigration.
What made the most impact on me was how the story developed around the kind of relationship one would have with a complete stranger. Starting out as mistrust and caution, it slowly blossomed and unfolded into the beautiful thing that we know as friendship. These two woman find out they have more in common than they ever knew. If not for the completely parched desire for companionship from Rosa, they might have stayed strangers. Through just spending some time with each other, however, they were able to share experiences the other would never have known of, regardless of age. This points towards the unlimited potential for developing friendships with the most unlikely people with which we come into contact.
I have to make special mention of Robyn Scott's performance. I had read beforehand that Robyn had recently mesmerised audiences in Elizabeth - Almost By Chance A Woman, which earned her a Fleur Du Cap nomination for Best Actress. I was also seated that evening next to Robyn's parents, who looked and sounded as proud of their daughter as any parents would be. For the first half of the play (this was before Robyn's mum leant over to whisper in my ear that her daughter was only 30-something) I was convinced I was watching an elderly 70-something woman acting as Rosa. So outstanding was Rosa's character, I wouldn't be surprised if I wasn't the only one believing the act. Her depth of character from speech, mannerisms and nuances was absolutely world class.
Really good work on costumes, make-up and stage also needs to be mentioned. I did feel that there could have been a touch more supplementary pieces added with the small motifs used during the play. However, overall, London Road is certainly not a show to be missed. London Road will definitely leave you with a warm appreciation for one's friendships and the joys of sharing. Perhaps even some food for thought.
London Road plays until 10 April, 2010. Theatre-goers can enjoy a light meal before the show. Doors open at 6pm. To book call +27 (0)73 220 5430 or go to www.kbt.co.za.