Edinburgh on its feet
Save for Scotland's Olympic medallists, South African-born director Yael Farber might be the most-talked-about woman in Scotland, thanks to her show Mies Julie, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Farber, who lives in Montreal, Canada, has given the 124-year-old August Strindberg play Miss Julie a local twist, setting it in the Karoo, instead of Sweden, to "capture the incredible complexity, beauty, tenderness, brutality and possibility that we are capable of as South Africans".
The production premiered at the National Arts Festival, in Grahamstown last month, before a two-week run at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.
Farber's adaptation looks at contemporary South Africa as "a post-traumatic society" and the "knot of inheritances and legacies that entangle lives in the aftermath" of the trauma.
The story revolves around the relationship between a black farm labourer, the daughter of his baas, and the woman who has raised them both.
Such is the power of the sex and class war in the production that it has an age restriction of 16 years and older.
Farber's production, which features Hilda Cronje (Mies Julie), Bongile Mantsai (John) and Thoko Ntshinga (Christine) has had the UK press spellbound.
Lyn Gardner, of The Guardian, gave it a 100% rating, as did the London Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, Scotland on Sunday, and The Scotsman.
Gardner wrote in her review: "The sound alone merits an award, but so do the actors - as savage and unbound as the production. Brilliant."
Mies Julie will return to South Africa at the State Theatre, Pretoria, on September 5 and run until October.
Farber's show is not the only South African production earning rave reviews in Edinburgh.
Zakes Mda's ever-popular And the Girls in Their Sunday Dresses, The Sewing Machine (adapted and directed by Hennie van Greunen) and Athol Fugard's Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act have been popular every night since the Edinburgh Festival Fringe began on August 3. It ends on Monday.
South African comedians Loyiso Gola and Dave Levinsohn have been rocking the Assembly Roxy venue with their joint one-hour routine, Barely Legal: The 18-year-old Democracy.