How well do you really know your friends?
The Emissary examines this weighted question in spectacular fashion. Delia has been in a long term relationship with Patrick. She has become a part of his life and has adopted all of his friends as her own. Patrick has been away for five months, and on the night he is set to return, his best friend Douglas asks to meet Delia to talk. Tension between them has been brewing since the beginning of the relationship and it seems like they are finally going to have it out. But, one of them is hiding a dark secret. When the night takes an ugly turn and old wounds resurface, the secret comes out…
Written and directed by Louis Viljoen, The Emissary is dark, sharp and brutally honest. Viljoen who has won Fleur Du Cap Theatre awards (Best New South African Script) for Champ (2013) and The Kingmakers (2015) has once again proven that he is a master playwright. The play moves from funny to tense so naturally; it is as if you are a fly on the wall witnessing an actual conversation between two friends. Just when you think you know where the conversation is going, he takes you in a completely different direction.
Delia and Douglas are played by award winning actors Emily Child and Andrew Laubscher. Their chemistry is incredible. As they debate, they move across stage as if they are predator and prey, interchanged depending on who has the upper hand. Their banter is on point and you can feel the uneasiness between them as things start to heat up. Both characters are deeply troubled, but are trying to hide it. Child and Laubscher capture this perfectly.
Viljoen’s brillant use of words, coupled with Child and Laubscher’s amazing action make The Emissary great. The play is just 50-minutes long, but in that time you are drawn so fully and are constantly engrossed with what’s happening on stage.
Photography courtesy Maggie Gericke