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Danny Solomon as Gideon and Faz Singhateh as Martinus

Elysium Theatre and Queen's Hall Hexham presents


by Athol Fugard

directed by Jake Murray

performed by Danny Solomon and Faz Singhateh

The first of the Athol Fugard plays of theatre Elysium - and the first professional sound design job I really had the chance to sink my teeth into - was Playland, written and set at the end of South Africa's Apartheid era. One lesser known bit of South African history was the Border War in what's now Namibia. A common theme across Athol Fugard's plays is that the Apartheid regime wasn't necessarily a good thing if you were White, and if you were drafted for this war - considered by many to be equivalent to the Vietnam War but kept completely secret - you'd really drawn the short straw. And so, on New Year's Eve of 1989, Gideon goes to the funfair determined to have a good night and forget what he's done. He meets Martinus, who also got has blood on his hands, but he has no intention of forgetting what he's done.

This is probably the best Elysium play for me where I've had the chance to showcase what I can do. Most of the time, it's your job as a sound designer to keep the sound effects in the background, to support what the actors are doing on stage rather than be the main attraction. Playland, however, has two scenes where the sound really defines it. And for any sound designers feeling frustrated that their work is kept obscure and in the background, this is the antidote. Here is the moment where PTSD-ridden Gideon greets the new year.


Queen's Hall, Hexham: 16th-17th October 2019

Exchange, North Shields: 18th October 2019

City Theatre, Durham: 24th - 26th October 2019

The Empty Space, Manchester: 31st October - 2nd November 2019

Theatre Hullabaloo, Darlington: 3rd November, 2019

Sound operated by me throughout run.

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