Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act
Frieda and Errol are deep in post-coital conversation. Actually, Errol is doing most of the talking, energized by the couple’s secret sexual liaison. He paces, pontificates and philosophizes on a wide variety of topics, from anthropology to sociology, bringing all conversation back to a black-and-white simplicity. Literally. This is 1970s South Africa under apartheid, where the Immorality Act makes sexual relations between “coloreds” and whites illegal.
Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act explores the pain, heartache and dehumanization caused by a law that tries to dictate love between two consenting adults. The one-hour, one-act play is this year’s Athol Fugard offering by Celebration Arts.
Statements is short but intensely powerful. Rob Anthony delivers a sharp, memorable performance as the “colored” school principal involved in a relationship with a white librarian. Linda Taylor, in a lesser role, brings a delicate, realistic portrayal of a fearful lover who uses her library floor for the hidden rendezvous.
The set is simple and stark, with low lighting. Symbolic books on the back wall remind us this clandestine, illegal moment takes place in a room of higher knowledge. It’s where souls, minds and bodies combine and finally combust under the punitive system of a heartless government.