In post-apartheid South Africa, in a valley where properties are still owned exclusively by white people, 76-year-old Abraam ‘Buks’ Jonkers (David Adams) continues to till the land he will never own. But while Buks loyally maintains the prized property of his past, his golden-voiced granddaughter, Veronica (Sereana Malani), can’t wait to star on Johannesburg stages. When a potential new property owner arrives, both Buks and Veronica must decide if they will hold tight to their past or take a chance on the future.
Gateway Theatre’s Artistic Director, Jovanni Sy, explains why he chose to direct this show, “I saw Athol Fugard perform in this play twenty years ago in Toronto. It was one of the most memorable theatrical experiences of my life.” Jovanni continues, “Fugard is one of my playwriting heroes – an author with an extraordinary gift for storytelling and a ferocious passion for social justice. His writing helped to change the course of his country. I can’t wait to share this play with audiences in February.”
Written by the prolific South African playwright, Athol Fugard, Valley Song is a theatrical poem told by two actors that brings timeless truths to life through the beautiful South African landscape. Best known for his writing, Fugard is also an esteemed actor and director. In the 1995 production of Valley Song Fugard played the roles of the Author and the grandfather Buks. “I had ended up sick and tired of the madness and desperate scramble of my life in the make-believe world of the Theatre.” he writes, “I wanted to return to essentials, to the ‘real’ world, and here was my chance to do it.”
David Adams, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, as well as local theatrical veteran and familiar face to Gateway Theatre audiences, was last seen at Gateway in 2012 playing the part of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. David is thrilled to return to play the role Athol Fugard originally brought to life on stage, “I’m so excited and privileged to be doing Valley Song this upcoming season – a rare chance to tackle a beautifully crafted play that profoundly speaks to my own personal background and ancestry.”
Starring alongside David, and making her Gateway Theatre debut, Sereana Malani plays the role of the Buks’s granddaughter Veronica. Local audiences would have last seen Sereana in the last two seasons at Bard on the Beach.
Be sure not to miss these two extremely talented actors, under the direction of Jovanni Sy, in Valley Song that promises to be an unforgettable night at the theatre.