Acceptance: Play Based On The Tania Clarence Case Opens Tonight At South Africa’s Drosdty Teater
Drosdty Teater in Stellenbosch is proud to debut Acceptance, which runs from 11 – 13 November 2015, with a final show on Sunday 15 November.
Acceptance is based on the events around the well-known multiple filicides (the deliberate act of a parent killing his/ her own child) by a South African-born mother of her three disabled children in England in April 2014.
The sixty-minute drama aims to give a voice to child-victims, whose voices are often buried with them.
Through staging this play, the writer hopes the audience will deliberate over rather than skirt around the issues of a tragedy such as this one.
The fast-paced action, using straight dramatic technique married with physical theatrical elements and the use of visual projection, provides a platform to raise more awareness of filicide, the disabled, and the right to terminate life.
Acceptance hopes to shake the opinions which are often defined by the media, society’s prejudices and the idea that some lives are less worthy than others.
The play is directed by Simona Mazza, an honours graduate from Rhodes University and co-directed by Eva Mazza who wrote the play. The cast includes Dinie Basson as Jemma (graduate from the University of Stellenbosch), Lyndon Stratford as Nic (graduate from the University of Stellenbosch), Natasha Williams (graduate from the University of Stellenbosch) and Ryan Napier (graduate from Rhodes University).
The set design is by Eva Mazza, with sound and lighting by Hano Smit and the stage manager and lighting designer is Anelle Gordon (a third-year Stellenbosch Drama student).
A well-known judge, who accepted a mother’s plea of manslaughter for killing her three disabled children, and who has been lauded for his fair judgement at the hearing, is woken up in the middle of the night by loud banging.
He opens the door to a young man, in his early twenties, who urgently needs to speak to him. The judge tries to convince him to wait until morning – but the young man (Nic) forces his way into his home. The judge, feeling threatened, tries unsuccessfully to contact the police. At the same time there is more knocking at the door and Nic is joined by his two siblings, Jemma and Sam.
The judge is forced to confront issues which he has never been required to do as a judge. He is asked to forget about the evidence that was presented before him – and to listen, instead, to the emotional and human story of the victims, whose voices, like many others, were lost in the media frenzy that built up to the trial which became a hearing.
The judge, through this make-shift hearing, is made to judge himself and to open up to emotional arguments, which up until now, he has been required to discard.