Drama explores dynamics of love, power and personal choice

Beer Adriaanse and Edwin van der Walt in Die Fel Omstrede Kroon van Edward II en Gaveston. PICTURE: Hans van der Veen and KKNK

Tom Lanoye’s Die Fel Omstrede Kroon van Edward II en Gaveston is on at the Baxter Flipside from Tuesday January 16 to Saturday January 27 at 7.30pm, with a matinee on Friday January 19, at 2.30pm.

The Belgian author’s work is well known in South Africa and he is famous for award-winning plays such as Koningin Lear, Mamma Medea and Bloed en Rose.

Performed in Afrikaans with English surtitles, this drama is loosely based on Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II of 1594. Marlowe, a contemporary and rival of Shakespeare, himself happily reworked the tragic history of King Edward II of England who was deposed in 1327 after a messy reign and was then, possibly, murdered by the nobles.

Directed and designed by Marthinus Basson, the cast comprises Edwin van der Walt as Edward II, Beer Adriaanse as Gaveston, Rolanda Marais as Queen Isabella, Caleb Payne as the crown prince, André Roothman as old king and old Mortimer and Wilhelm van der Walt as young Mortimer.

King Edward I is dying and would like his crown to go to his grandchild instead of his son whom he despises because of a relationship with his childhood friend, Gaveston, who at this point is in exile. But Edward II is crowned, Gaveston is unbanned and their love not only thrives, Gaveston is elevated to the status of king himself. This leads to consternation and the fury of both the nobility and the populace.

After an incident in which Gaveston publicly exposes the archbishop for the scum he really is, he is banished yet again. The situation turns into a political and personal crisis for all involved.

Lanoye explores love, power, personal choice, children, complex relationships and the place of the individual within a society under the weight of a heavy crown.

There is an age restriction of 16 years for nudity and language.

Die Fel Omstrede Kroon van Edward II en Gaveston runs at the Baxter Flipside from 16 to 27 January 2024 at 7.30pm with a matinee on 19 January at 2.30pm.

Tickets cost from R150. Book through Webtickets or at Pick n Pay stores..