Its single-performance premier was in in Johannesburg , South Africa , with the playwright and Zakes Mokae playing the brothers Morris and Zachariah. Its Broadway premiere was at the John Golden Theatre , in , with Fugard and Mokae playing the brothers as they had in the play's premiere. The play was most recently performed in Johannesburg , South Africa in as part of Mandela Day celebrations, with Michael Brando playing the lead role of Morris. The only two characters in the two-hander play are the brothers Morris and Zachariah.
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Its single-performance premier was in in Johannesburg , South Africa , with the playwright and Zakes Mokae playing the brothers Morris and Zachariah. Its Broadway premiere was at the John Golden Theatre , in , with Fugard and Mokae playing the brothers as they had in the play's premiere. The play was most recently performed in Johannesburg , South Africa in as part of Mandela Day celebrations, with Michael Brando playing the lead role of Morris.
The only two characters in the two-hander play are the brothers Morris and Zachariah. Both were raised by the same black mother, but have different fathers, and Morris is much more fair-skinned than Zachariah. Morris can pass for white, and has done so in the past, but now he has returned to live with Zachariah in a small, miserable shack in the "colored" section of Port Elizabeth.
Morris keeps the house, while Zachariah works to support them both. They are saving money in hopes of buying a farm of their own some day.
Both Morris and Zachariah have rich imaginations and have taken part in role-playing games together since they were small boys. The lonely Zachariah has struck up a pen-pal relationship with a white girl and entertains fantasies that she might fall in love with him. The more level-headed Morris tries to disabuse Zachariah of such notions and warns him that in segregated South Africa, such a relationship can only mean trouble, especially since the girl has indicated in letters that her brother is a policeman.
Morris' fears are soon realized, when Zachariah's pen-pal writes to say that she is coming to visit Port Elizabeth and wants to meet Zachariah.
Zachariah must face the tragic truth that he can never have a future with her, that she can never love him, and that she would be horrified to see who he really is. To avoid having her meet Zachariah, the brothers agree to have the white-looking Morris meet her and pretend to be Zachariah.
To prepare for the date, Morris buys some fine "white" clothes with the money that he and his brother had been saving. When he puts on the clothes, he begins to adopt the white mannerisms and speech patterns that he had learned years earlier when trying to "pass" in white society. As he does so, he begins to treat his brother like an inferior, as any middle-class white South African would treat a black servant.
When a letter arrives, indicating that the girl will not be coming for a visit after all, Zachariah and his relieved brother begin a new role-playing game.
This time, the game takes bizarre twists. It becomes evident that Morris secretly holds his brother in disdain, and that Zachariah secretly harbors thoughts of killing Morris.
The play ends with no real resolution. Morris and Zachariah will, apparently, remain together for many unhappy years to come, needing each other, but unable to bridge the gap brought about by their respective skin tones. The play was prepared for transmission on British television twice in the s. The first version, directed by Charles Jarrott , was shot in May for the highly regarded Armchair Theatre anthology series, but was never transmitted, although the recording has survived.
Also surviving, it stars the Jamaican actor Charles Hyatt as Zach and Fugard himself again playing Morris; Fugard was pleased with the results:. Myself as Morrie, with Charles Hyatt as Zach.
Robin Midgley directing. Midgley reduced the play to 90 minutes Midgley did manage to dig up things that had been missed in all the other productions. Most exciting was his treatment of the letter writing scene — "Address her" — which he turned into an essay in literacy Zach sweating as the words clot in his mouth Less pleased, and committed to the system of apartheid , the South African government of B. Vorster confiscated Fugard's passport. The play was revived at the Roundabout Theatre in Reviewing an anniversary performance of the revival in , starring Fugard himself in the role of Morris and Zakes Mokae in the role of Zach the roles both originated in South Africa in , New York Times drama critic Mel Gussow describes the play as "An artfully executed theatrical dialogue Themes, motifs, images and the author's own impassioned conscience are all there in organic form.
Henry III , who notices the long collaboration between the two actors, Fugard and Mokae: "The actors' blood knot of decades of fraternal friendship has only ripened their truth onstage. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the play by Athol Fugard. For the rope knot, see Blood knot.
The Internet Off-Broadway Database. Archived from the original on Retrieved Notebooks — Craighall: A. Donker, Accessed 4 Oct. Internet Off-Broadway Database. Accessed 7 Feb. Plays by Athol Fugard.
Brother’s Keeper, Brother’s Curse
The Signature Theater Company inaugurates its new theater complex with a revival of Mr. First, a word about the Frank Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center, as the light-filled, handsome and spacious new complex on 42nd Street at 10th Avenue is called. Containing three theaters and a cafe and bar, it is a spectacular shot in the arm for this worthy company, whose focus since its inception in has been celebrating the canon of American drama, usually with seasons devoted to the work of a single playwright. Two more Fugard works are planned for later in the season. The truth is more complicated: Mr. Domingo and Mr. Shepherd are both gifted actors — Mr.
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They are different in temperament, but they reaffirm and support each other. Morris is a light-skinned colored man, Zachariah is a black man. They are half-brothers, who have the same mother. They have shared the same one-room shack for about a year. Zachariah works as a gatekeeper at a park. His job is to keep black people from coming into the whites-only park.