The audience at last evening’s opening performance of playwright Athol Fugard’s Valley Song at the Pacific Theatre was treated to an entertaining, thought provoking story of love, loss and the inevitability of change. Set in South Africa in the early post-apartheid years, two characters – a grandfather and his granddaughter – struggle with their beliefs about tradition, expectations, duty and dreams as they, and the world around them, experience rapid change.
David Adams, who played several roles including Buks, the grandfather, as well as the teacher, the preacher and the white man, changed his persona seamlessly with a mere alteration of facial expression or removal of a cap. Sereana Molani, his granddaughter Veronica, was captivating throughout as she grappled with the dissonance between her history and her hopes for the future.
Although Valley Song takes place at a pivotal historical juncture, its themes are universal, continuing to resonate deeply with today’s audiences as they try to adapt to a rapidly changing, sometimes incomprehensible milieu. Buks’ lament, “What did I do wrong?” and Veronica’s belief that, if she dreams properly and moves away, she will achieve success are as relevant now as they ever were.
The 80 minute production sped by and concluded with a well deserved standing ovation. Valley Song is playing at the Pacific Theatre through April 8, 2017.
See www.pacifictheatre.org for more details or phone 604-731-5518.