Saskia Reeves and Rafe Spall are to star in Athol Fugard’s two-hander Hello And Goodbye at Trafalgar Studio 2 from 22 April-17 May (press night 24 April).
Fugard’s semi-autobiographical play is set in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, under the oppressive cloud of apartheid and centres on Johnny (Spall), who is reunited with his estranged sister Hester (Reeves). Surrounded by the squalor of their neglected and brutalised lives, raw memories come spilling out in a night of tense, distressing disclosure.
Spall was recently acclaimed for his performance in the television adaptation of A Room With A View; his screen credits also include The Rotters’ Club, Wide Sargasso Sea and films Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. On stage he has appeared in The Knight Of The Burning Pestle at the Barbican, A Prayer For Owen Meaney at the National Theatre, and, last year, Alaska at the Royal Court and John Gabriel Borkman at the Donmar Warehouse. Spall will shortly be seen in new ITV drama He Kills Coppers, which airs from 23 March.
Reeves was present at the Laurence Olivier Awards earlier this month to collect the award for Best New Play on behalf of Simon McBurney and Complicite for A Disappearing Number at the Barbican, in which she starred. Her other London stage credits include The Woman Before at the Royal Court and Orpheus Descending at the Donmar Warehouse. She has also been seen on television in Spooks, The Tesseract and Butterfly Kiss.
Playwright Fugard is regarded as the father of South African theatre. His many plays include Blood Knot, Boesman And Lena, Master Harold And The Boys, The Island and Sizwe Bansi Is Dead.
This production of Hello And Goodbye, directed by Paul Robinson and co-produced by Treatment Theatre and English Touring Theatre, was first presented at Southwark Playhouse in 2003 starring Zubin Varla and Tracy-Ann Oberman.
Hello And Goodbye opens in Trafalgar Studio 2 after Snowbound, which runs from 12 March-19 April. It is followed in the venue’s season by Lifecoach, starring comic Phill Jupitus, which plays from 20 May.