Blood Knot

BY ATHOL FUGARD
8 March 2019 — 20 April 2019

★★★★★ “Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot takes an intense look at the timeless debate surrounding racial identity… a thoroughly engaging experience… Both Ssebandeke and McMullen are outstanding” Ghazaleh Golpira, The Upcoming

★★★★ "Compelling... Feels just as relevant, and resonant, for our times... The politics of colourism fuel the power play between them... McMullen and Ssebandeke both give striking performances... Under Matthew Xia’s deft direction." Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

★★★★ “Athol Fugard has a genius for marrying the epic and the intimate… Beautifully acted — tender and bruising… fiercely focused and devastatingly effective.” Sam Marlowe, The Times

★★★★ “Matthew Xia, who directed Fugard’s Sizwe Banzi is Dead at the Young Vic in 2014, demonstrates an assured grasp of the play’s harsh, bruising tone, set against sound designer Xana’s unnerving, rasping aural landscape. The production cultivates a grinding sense of catastrophe... As Zach and Morrie, Ssebandeke and McMullen – the only actors on stage throughout the play – have gripping chemistry as brothers who are mismatched by circumstance and temperament… Xia’s staging exerts a real, raw power as it shades in Fugard’s fierce portrayal of an overwhelmingly brutalising environment.” Tom Wicker, Time Out

★★★★  “A highly engaging production that provokes thought, debate and personal examination… Director Matthew Xia maintains audience attention throughout… It cleverly exposes the cultural construction of racism by subverting the supposed differences between races… The production looks very atmospheric, with Basia Binkowska's design of the run-down shack complimented by Xana's intricate sound design.” Aliya Al-Hassan, Broadway World

★★★★ “It is masterful how Fugard orchestrates the brothers’ dynamics throughout, performed excellently by McMullen and Ssebandeke.” Franciska Ery, A Younger Theatre

★★★★ “It is hard to imagine a venue more suited to this play than the Orange Tree. Director Matthew Xia’s production is taut, claustrophobic and highly atmospheric.” Stephen Bates, The Reviews Hub

★★★★ “The performances from the two protagonists are simply superb… I was totally gripped from beginning to end.” John Groves, LondonTheatre1

★★★★ “A tightly focused two-hander… Matthew Xia's claustrophobic production” Neil Dowden, Londonist

★★★★ “Vivid revival... his work still feels achingly relevant.” The Morning Star