The Snow Goose is a magical theatrical experience. I arrived at the Fugard Theatre ahead of the show rather ignorant as to what the play was about. It had been a busy week and a last-minute decision to attend – but what a good decision it was.
The play is set in the marshes of Essex in the 1930s and culminates in 1940 with the daring rescue of British and French soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk during the Second World War.
It’s not a war story, however. Based on a short piece by Paul Gallico, it’s one of an unusual relationship between a young girl who saves a snow goose and a recluse who lives in a lighthouse to whom she brings the injured creature.
The entire story is expertly enacted by Taryn Bennett and James Cairns, who use masks and hats as they switch to different characters in the most inspiring manner. Taryn’s use of gesture to transform her body into another character entirely is masterful, while James Cairns switches roles and accents effortlessly.
The set was simple and I was astounded at how these two actors draw you into a story that fires up your imagination with little more than a table, a bunch of crates, some light and music.
There’s a balanced emotional tension that rocks gently to and fro as the two characters draw each other a little closer and then push each other away and then closer again, as the bond between them grows.
I was enthralled by the entire performance, which was interjected by humour and that left me with a tear in my eye at the close of the final scene.
What an entertaining piece of theatre.
Dates: April 9 2019 – May 4 2019
Time: Tue – Fri 8pm | Sat 3 & 8pm
Price: R140 – R160 with discounts available for students, pensioners, scholars and Friends of the Fugard