Local theatre work wins top award at Amsterdam Fringe

By Dave Mann

Rhodes University Associate Professor Andrew Buckland, PhD Candidate Rob Murray, and final year MA student Liezl de Kock have just returned from the Amsterdam Fringe Festival where their production, Crazy in Love, took home the award for Best International Performance.

Presented by A Conspiracy of Clowns and the National Arts Festival, Standard Bank Ovation Award winner Crazy in Love is devised and performed by de Kock and theatre legend Buckland, with direction by Murray, and design by Jayne Batzofin.

Inspired by a scene in John Irving’s novel Until I Find You, the play is the tragicomic tale of a father-daughter duo in search of their lost wife and mother. When Leon (Buckland) is left standing at the alter holding his baby daughter Ginny (de Kock), he vows to track down his wife and piece his family together.

As the play unfolds, Leon and Ginny travel from town to town in a seemingly futile quest. The audience is treated to a small, human story containing grand, relatable themes such as obsession, addiction, despair, and courage.

The production was hailed by UK-based Fringe Review as one of the Festival’s must-sees and was given “Outstanding Show” status.

Murray explains that Crazy in Love came about as a way to showcase the dynamic performance that de Kock and Buckland bring forward when paired together. The cast and crew had no idea the play would be so well received, he said.

“When we created the show in 2013 we had no thought of it beyond getting Andrew and Liezl on the floor and playing,” said Murray. “Theirs is a rare onstage chemistry that is beautiful to witness and be part of.”

“Although the subject matter is serious, we had such a fun time making the work, and it is complete credit to their generous and warm natures, not to mention their incredible talent,” he continued.

Crazy in Love premiered at the 2013 Natonal Arts Festival Fringe where it went on to become the Bestselling Show on debut that year, and took home a coveted Standard Bank Ovation Award.

“On the strength of our showing in Amsterdam and now winning this international award, we have attracted a lot of attention and over the next few years might very well travel to San Diego, Hollywood, Brighton, Prague, and London, among others,” Murray said.

Crazy in Love went on to perform at the debut Cape Town Fringe festival which was held between 25 September and 5 October.

– Their final Cape Town Fringe performance was to a sold out theatre.

– Murray, de Kock, and Buckland are all active members within the Rhodes University Drama Department.

– De Kock also performed her piece Piet se Optelgoed at this year’s Cape Town Fringe.

Piet se Optelgoed was directed by Murray and featured Rhodes Drama Masters student Lexi Meier.

 

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