Nathan McMullen and Kalungi Ssebandeke play brothers Morrie and Zach in Matthew Xia’s major new revival of the 1961 play Blood Knot by Athol Fugard, who has been a vital part of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. The Designer of the production is Basia BiÅ?kowska, Lighting Designer Ciarán Cunningham, Sound Designer & Composer Xana, and Sophie Parrott CDG.
One fine day, you wait and see. We’ll pack our things in something and get the hell out of here.
It’s been a year since Morrie returned to Port Elizabeth to live with his brother Zach. They share childhood memories of their mother, yet have wildly contrasting life experiences due to their different fathers.
Morrie wants to take them away from their township shack, buy a small farm and make a new life. To take their minds off the struggle, they decide Zach needs a pen pal. But who should it be? An innocent game can quickly go wrong…
As things get complicated, the stakes rise: can they free themselves from the enduring prejudices provoked by the different shades of their skin?
We’re tied together. It’s what they call the blood knot . . . the bond between brothers.
£15 previews for Blood Knot begin 8 March. Book here.
Athol Fugard’s prolific career spans seven decades. His extensive work includes The Island, The Road to Mecca and “Master Harold”… and the Boys and his plays have been seen in London at the National Theatre, Young Vic, Royal Court Theatre, The Old Vic and in the West End, as well as numerous productions worldwide including on Broadway. His play A Lesson From Aloes will be seen at the Finborough Theatre in March. His novel Tsotsi was adapted into a film in 2005 and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Matthew Xia won the Genesis Future Director award with his production of Fugard’s Sizwe Banzi is Dead at the Young Vic, where he also directed Blue/Orange. He has just become Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company. He was previously Associate Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre, where he directed Brink, Into the Woods and Wish List, which transferred to the Royal Court Theatre. In 2018 Matthew directed Conor McPherson's Dublin Carol at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff, a new adaptation of Frankenstein by April de Angelis at the Royal Exchange, Shebeen: Mufaro Makubika's Alfred Fagon Award-winning play at Nottingham Playhouse and Theatre Royal Stratford East, and Sleeping Beauty at Theatre Royal Stratford East. In 2019 he is directing new play Free by Hannah Patterson at Hampstead Theatre, and the regional premiere of One Night in Miami by Kemp Powers at Nottingham Playhouse. He is a co-founder of Act for Change.
Nathan McMullen’s theatre work includes The Big I Am, A Clockwork Orange, Paint Your Wagon, Macbeth (Liverpool Everyman); Down the Dock Road (Royal Court Liverpool); The Hudsucker Proxy (Liverpool Playhouse/Nuffield Southampton Theatres); Darkness at the Sun Court (Slunglow); Jack and the Beanstalk, The Worm Collector (West Yorkshire Playhouse). TV includes Doctor Who, The Driver, Misfits (series regular), Shameless.
Kalungi Ssebandeke is currently training at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His theatre work includes Image of an Unknown Woman (Gate Theatre); We Are Proud to Present… (Bush Theatre); One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Kiln Theatre/Eclipse/Sheffield Theatres); The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Lyric Hammersmith). TV includes Doctor Who, Cucumber, The Dumping Ground, Dubplate Drama, The Well, Skins.
£12.50 Under 30s tickets available for every performance