Continuing its 12-year relationship with Athol Fugard, The Fountain Theatre celebrates the master playwright’s 80th birthday with the U.S. premiere of his newest play. Set in a burnt-out Karoo farmhouse ravaged by fire, a widowed farmer and his housekeeper sort through the debris of their lives. The discovery of a miraculously undamaged painting of a blue iris unlocks long-forgotten memories and hidden secrets. Fugard digs deep into the human heart, and the result is a love story full of tender, soul-touching and surprising revelations.
Described by Time magazine as “the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world,” Athol Fugard celebrated his 80th birthday on June 11, but the prolific writer shows no signs of slowing down. On June 28, The Blue Iris premiered at The National Arts Festival in his native South Africa to rave reviews. “Vintage Fugard… riveting theatre that will evoke whispering echoes in the heart long after the show has ended,” wrote Cue magazine.
The Blue Iris is set in Fugard’s beloved and desolate South African desert, the Karoo. In a burnt-out farmhouse, a widowed farmer, Robert Hannay (Higgins) and his housekeeper, Rieta (Hill) sort through the fire-ravaged debris. The discovery of a miraculously undamaged painting of a flower – a blue iris – created by Hannay’s deceased wife (Schultz) unlocks long-forgotten memories and hidden secrets. Fugard digs deep into the human heart, and the result is a love story full of tender, soul-touching and surprising revelations.
“We should be going into people`s lives, their souls, their ways of life. Everything I have written is an attempt to share secrets with you,” says the playwright.
“The Blue Iris is achingly beautiful, a heartfelt play that brings to life the tender honesty and deep complexity of human relationships,” avers Sachs. “We cherish Athol’s 12-year friendship and artistic association at the Fountain, and we’re thrilled to celebrate his 80th birthday with this remarkable work.”
The Blue Iris opens on Friday, August 24 and runs through September 16 with previews on August 18-23. Tickets are $30-$34. The Fountain Theatre is located at 5060 Fountain Avenue (at Normandie), Los Angeles, CA 90029. Secure, on-site parking is available for $5.00. The Fountain Theatre is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. For reservations and information, call (323) 663-1525 or go to www.FountainTheatre.com.