The Fugard Theatre presents the world premiere of double Fleur du Cap writer award winner Louis Viljoen’s The Eulogists. Viljoen is the Fugard Theatre’s Writer in Residence and The Eulogists excitingly marks his first offering in this position.
The world media has descended on a small town to wait for a great statesman to die. Audrey, a flash-in-the-pan author who once had access to the leader and profited from it, has holed herself up in a room around the corner from the dying man’s family home. Zee is an ambitious researcher who dreams of breaking an exclusive story about the leader’s past and shares a room with Audrey and cabin fever has begun to set in.
Thrown into this volatile situation is Harris, a correspondent for an American radio station who brings with him a few bottles of wine and a plan to end the boredom. Each of these three people have their own reasons for being stuck in this town and as the truth emerges, the inevitability of losing a person who represents hope becomes an unbearable burden.
Viljoen partners with his long-time collaborator Greg Karvellas (Clybourne Park, The Father, Bad Jews) as director, reuniting the tour-de-force team that have created acclaimed productions such as CHAMP and The Frontiersmen. The Fugard Theatre audiences have had the chance to see previous plays by Viljoen, including CHAMP, and the multiple Fleur du Cap award-winning The Kingmakers and The Pervert Laura.
The cast includes Emily Child (The Pervert Laura; The Emissary, A Certain Lady) as Audrey, Pierre Malherbe (The Kingmakers, Sexual Perversity in Chicago) as Harris and 2016 Fleur du Cap winner for Most Promising Student Kiroshan Naidoo (Anthology, Fabulous Nothing) as Zee.
The creative team for The Eulogists includes Set Design by Rocco Pool (The Father, Associate Designer for The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek), Costume Design by Widaad Albertus (Wardrobe Supervisor District Six- Kanala, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek) and Lighting Design by Kieran McGregor (The Father).
“We are delighted to be staging the much-anticipated premiere of Louis Viljoen’s latest play as part of our Writer in Residence programme,” says Daniel Galloway, Executive Director of the Fugard Theatre. “In addition to presenting world-class South African productions of existing musical theatre and plays, we are committed to providing a platform for new voices to flourish. The Writer in Residence Programme offers the writer a series of guaranteed commissions and production of his or her work on the Fugard Studio Theatre stage.
“Louis has consistently illustrated through his work his razor-sharp observation skills and no-holds barred exploration of political, social and human themes, with dark, deviant characters that we both love and loathe. He is one of the most compelling new South African playwrights and we look forward to staging a number of his plays in the forthcoming years.”
Viljoen has written and produced numerous plays including, The Bile Boys, The Frontiersmen, The Verbalists, Champ, Porno 88, The Kingmakers, The Pervert Laura, Oh Baby, I’m A Wild One and The Emissary. He is one of the creators (along with playwrights Nicholas Spagnoletti and Jon Keevy) of the successful short-play initiative Anthology which has had four successful seasons at The Alexander Bar’s Upstairs Theatre. Viljoen has won Fleur Du Cap Theatre awards (Best New South African Script) for CHAMP (2013) and The Kingmakers (2015). He was the recipient of the Rosalie van Der Gucht Best New Director award for his plays, The Kingmakers and The Pervert Laura.
The Eulogists has a recommended age restriction of 16 – use of strong language and scenes of a sexual nature.