Dame Janet Suzman stars in this wonderful new production written and directed by Lara Foot, offering a mesmerized audience a glimpse into the complicated and conflicting world that is post-apartheid South Africa.
Solomon and Marion, as the name suggests, is the story of two lonely people brought together by events far bigger than themselves. The aging and divorced Marion is living alone in the South African countryside, her son having died and her daughter moved away. One day, the young Solomon unexpectedly turns up at her door. The two of them form a close, yet complicated, friendship as the stories of the past starts to unfold and a divided South Africa prepares for the World Cup finals.
Solomon and Marion is simply an exquisite piece of theatre, characterized not only by an innovative and unexpected storyline, but also by truly suburb acting. Dame Janes Suzman is fantastic in the role as Marion, a performance only matched by her co-actor, Khayalethu Anthony. His portrayal of Solomon is not only a strong achievement in its own right, but also gives the audience a moving insight into the struggles of a new generation of South Africans, desperately trying to find their place in a society still characterized by violent conflict and old divisions.
The subtlety with which the play deals with issues such as race, violence, generational conflict, loneliness, isolation, and death is truly impressive. This is largely due to the powerful interaction between the two actors as each performance both contrasts and compliments the other. This wonderful piece of contemporary theatre will leave no viewer unmoved, a statement further proven by the fact that several members of the audience clearly were crying as the show came to an end.
In describing a production such as this one, words become superfluous. Solomon and Marion is bound to leave a mark on any viewer, a mark that will stay with each and every one of us for a long time.