See it if you love Fugard's work. Tho not as effective as Master Harold, PRARC still has fascinating social commentary. Act II is unconvincing.
Don't see it if you want a coherent plot and outstanding dialogue (it is repetitive). I even got sick of watching the painting. Still, exposure to new info. Read more
See it if You like drama, you have an interest in social history of apartheid, like serious topical dialogue
Don't see it if You prefer light fare, you are not interested in life in other countries, equality struggle.
See it if You enjoy great acting and stories of human creativity and resilience.
Don't see it if You aren't interested in South African stories and can't take a little second-act preachiness
See it if you want to catch the latest work by an old master, unsurpassed at matching the political with the personal in simple words and actions.
Don't see it if you want that revolver to go off. Patchy pacing, with serious talk emphasized over excitement, may make you feel you're watching paint dry.
See it if you like a simple and beautiful set and a moving story about an old man and a boy in pre and post Apartheide South Africa.
Don't see it if you find it really hard to understand a thick South African accent.
See it if you want to see a show that makes you think, but without it feeling like it takes a lot of effort. Great staging and acting
Don't see it if you want something unequivocally upbeat, or faster-paced
See it if You love Athol Fugard, he is a master playwrite
Don't see it if you want excitement
See it if you care to be enlightened by a master playwright on the persistent racial scars left by apartheid on the lives of South Africans
Don't see it if you are unprepared for the emotional journey behind a seemingly simple portrait of an artist's legacy
"The tense conversation that ensues sometimes stumbles over expositional passages detailing the contrasting fates of farmers in South Africa and Zimbabwe. And while Jonathan’s eloquence is neatly explained by his passion for words, some of his speeches have the whiff of the prepared lecture about them. But the impassioned performance helps to animate the staid patches in the writing."
"Fugard’s play, performed by an excellent cast of four, derives much of its initial power from simplicity. There is great joy in witnessing the artist commit himself to paint...But much of this consists of rehashing and explaining what was clear enough in the play’s first half. Mabusa’s struggle not to capitulate is already moving; it doesn’t require such recapitulation."
"A play like The Painted Rocks, meant no doubt to be timeless, seems timebound instead...This is not to say that Fugard’s traditional works can’t be powerful, but their power is, to my mind, not always sufficiently theatrical, especially when they approach his great subject...There is not much room for movement, dramatic or otherwise, in a world where whites cannot see the lives of their victims...Thus the gun. And thus, less desperately, the excellent performances of the four-person cast."
"An intimate theatrical gem...The play becomes a bit stilted and didactic, in which the post-apartheid themes are stated far too explicitly. But it's deeply moving nonetheless...The production has its flaws — the staging is too leisurely, and not all of the dialogue rings true. But the work is a worthy addition to his distinguished canon."
"It’s powerful source material, but some writing choices leave a bit to be desired—during a heated exchange, should it really be the black character’s responsibility to advocate for peace and understanding, and attempt to teach the gun-wielding white woman the error of her ways?... But the author obviously has good intentions, and under his guidance, the small cast deliver impeccable performances all around."
"Watching the dead rock come to life is as thrilling for us as it is for Nukain...Had the play ended at this point, it would still leave the audience shaken. But in the second act of his carefully built play, Fugard broadens the meaning of Nukain’s masterpiece by placing that powerful symbol of a man’s human dignity in a modern-day context."
"Fugard has staged his show, and while he has not always been the best executor of his own work, that is not the case with this magisterial, exquisitely paced production...It is a play that belongs on Broadway."
"The show can be repetitive — Jonathan reminds us over and over how the Big One tells Nukain’s story — but it tackles the two sides’ fear and anger in a surprisingly gentle way. Jonathan and Elmarie eventually reach a precarious peace, even as Fugard suggests the country’s issues are too deep to be easily fixed."