In Athol Fugard's "Boesman and Lena," the human need for kindness, hope and compassion is on display in the struggles of abusive Boesman and his long-suffering wife Lena, who encounter a stranger while wandering the South African wastelands. More…
Legacy playwright Athol Fugard has made a home at Signature since being the inaugural Residency 1 playwright at the Center, and his South African-set stories, with themes of complex identities, racial tension, and social protest, remain as relevant as ever.
See it if Two discarded apartheid slum dwellers trudge through life, angry at the world and each other. Haunting poetic language.
Don't see it if You don't want to stew in desperate abandonment. I was mesmerized & saw the human condition in them.
See it if Fugard's poetic prose & dynamic lead performances make this bleak existential drama bearable Apartheid is just metaphor for its universality
Don't see it if Overwritten (about 20 minutes worth) w/political themes becoming a little forced Lena feels a bit more complex (character-wise) than Boesman
See it if Credit due for the acting. Minimal set meets the story-line. The smaller signature site works. Partner gave it a much higher rating.
Don't see it if Depressing. My rule of thumb. 90 minutes NO intermission, 105 minutes a MUST intermission. (91-104 Director/Writer discretion see ALSO
See it if you’d like to see 3 powerful performances in a beautiful production of an important play from 1 of our playwriting giants.
Don't see it if 2 uninterrupted hours of intensity would put too great of a strain on you.
See it if You enjoy Fugard, like plays about apartheid in South Africa or intense character studies about those impacted by apartheid
Don't see it if Do not like Fugard or plays about apartheid, unfamiliar with South Africa’s class system, dislike loud arguments, violence against women
See it if moving; audience stunned by tragedy of characters uprooted, dehumanized by apartheid; Zainab Jah amazing Lena trying to retain her humanity
Don't see it if play starts slowly on moonscape mudflats where Boesman/Lena 1st appear but soon stage filled w rage/conflict offset by small acts of grace
See it if So. African dysfunctional couple forced into indigence fight the label of "the white man's rubbish." Lena carries the brunt of his abuse.
Don't see it if Afrikaaner spoken here without subtitles. Threatening violence. Two hours without a break. Slow. Someone not allowed to take a bow.
See it if you’re looking for a break from light, fluffy theatre. This is a slow, thoughtful show with terrific performances.
Don't see it if you prefer escapist theatre and are just looking for a fun night out.
See it if you want to see tour de force performances. Very impressive. I don't even know how the actors can sustain such performance levels nightly.
Don't see it if You want to be entertained, this felt like work. Felt like the audience was being assaulted too. That said, important message and play.
See it if you love great acting; enjoy plays of substance w/words being more important than action; set sparsity reflects human condition of the time.
Don't see it if you want an uplifting, fast paced, colorful story, a happy ending/ something fun. The acting is terrific, and the story painful.
See it if you want to see a new interpretation of a classic play. Also, a stunning performance by Zainab Jah.
Don't see it if you can't sit for two hours. Also, if you are not interested in how apartheid treats displaced people.
See it if You feel compelled to be able to brag that you've seen all of Mr. Fugard's plays. This is an endurance test.
Don't see it if You appreciate Mr. Fugard's notable work. As soon as I get home I plan to shower to remove the actual dirt from the play set off.
See it if you want to see the great performances and an intelligent play.
Don't see it if you don't want to see a sad and painful show dealing with apartheid and the displacement of people. If you're looking for a light show.
See it if ...you are very familiar with the history of South African apartheid. This play was a master stroke of its time.
Don't see it if ...a play that has, at its center, a physically abusive relationship between a man and a woman disturbs you. I found this hard to watch.
See it if a show written about apartheid but relevant to a variety of issues today including abuse & refuges, homelessness; very emotional dialogue
Don't see it if verbose monologues during a 2 hour intermission-less play, physical abuse against a woman; want something uplifting
See it if you like Fugard plays. Staging and props are interesting.
Don't see it if you want a plot. Man and woman meander around desert-like land looking for somewhere to sleep. Lots of yelling. Nothing much happens.
Also Seems like a copy of Waiting For Godot, but nearly as good.
See it if you enjoy the playwright's works. You enjoy an intellectual play. You HAVE to pay attention the entire 2hrs.
Don't see it if you want to feel involved in the story. Great acting, but the consistent tone made me lose focus often. Lack of intermission - ouch!
See it if How to feel seen when stuck in a sh*t loop of a life as a couple carries more and more burdens. Suffering happens without hope.
Don't see it if Domestic violence (man hitting woman) or apartheid are triggering. Another depressing, older "slave play" by a White man.
See it if You are a Fugard fan. Appreciate an intense production of this "everyman" tale.
Don't see it if You can't abide dialogue laden dramas between two characters.
See it if a story about the inhabitants of the South African mudflats sounds like an interesting evening in the theater.
Don't see it if this is your first professional actor production of the show after only knowing it from the college production your three friends starred in
See it if Brilliant theater ... so much to unpack. Flawless performances and exquisite production. Must see ... “Freedom is a long walk”
Don't see it if Run don’t walk.
See it if Surreal Godot-like exploration of apartheid’s effects on poor black couple untethered to time, place or even common language;links to today
Don't see it if Intense but at times slow moving two hours without intermission. Although poetic language is beautiful it can be hard to follow
See it if if you haven't seen this rarely produced Fugard play; superb acting about valuing or not valuing human beings in any era. Deeply emotional.
Don't see it if you can't tolerate 2 hours of profoundly demanding drama including some in untranslated language with no intermission.
See it if very good acting is important to you; Fugard's view of South Africa is meaningful to you even if painful
Don't see it if you prefer fun or funny plays; you like musicals or comedies; you have no interest in a slow-moving play
See it if you love Fugard and want to see everything he wrote and you can appreciate great acting even in a play that is "lesser Fugard".
Don't see it if you don't want to be depressed. This play is absolutely a relentless "downer"!