Dream of the Dog – TNT theatre review

Delayed since last year, South African playwright Craig Higginson’s short
new play, Dream of the Dog, which premiered at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, finally makes
it to the Finborough in a taut, strongly cast production directed by Katie

In KwaZulu-Natal, shortly after the millennium, elderly white couple
Patricia and Richard are getting ready to leave the farm that has been their
home for decades. She’s physically frail but mentally astute; he’s suffering
from progressive dementia as he grabs a spade, intent on digging up the
sadness of their life together.

With their bags already packed, a dog’s warning bark announces the
unexpected arrival of “Look Smart”, the garden boy whom Patricia nurtured
and educated until, 15 years ago, in his teens, he ran away and completely

Now their roles are reversed. Employed by the development company which
purchased the farmstead, he’s brashly confident, sometimes threatening, as
he confronts his onetime mentor about the truth – as he sees it – behind the
terrible death which precipitated his sudden disappearance.

As these representatives of the old and new regimes try to make sense of
what really happened, the on-going legacy of Apartheid is exposed – in the
polite dignity of Gracy Goldman’s black servant, Beauty, in the resentment
of Ariyon Bakare’s “Look Smart”, still seething angrily beneath the sheen of
his sharp, corporate suit, and in Janet Suzman’s rational, resigned
Patricia, forced to revisit and re-evaluate the disappointments and
inequities of the personal and political past.

» Finborough, Finborough Road, SW10 9ED. (Earl’s Court Tube)
0844 847 1652
Untl 22nd May
Tickets £15 – £18

Louise Kingsley