It doesn’t matter who you are – you can blame your mother for your problems … and similarly, it doesn’t matter what you do as a mother – your children will be able to blame you for their problems. This is a universal truth. The fact that an interracial family is involved simply complicates the mother/daughter mix.
Mike van Graan is a South African playwright with his finger on the pulse of the “Rainbow Nation”. Today there are many families where a black child has been adopted into a white family, for a whole variety of reasons. Cross cultural adoption has a whole range of problems for all the members of the family, many of which are highlighted in Rainbow Scars, brilliantly directed by Lara Bye. Anyone who knows a family where cross cultural adoption is a feature of the family dynamics will have no trouble recognising the plausibility of the play’s action and dialogue.
This is a contemporary play starring Jennifer Steyn as Ellen Robinson, the mother of two – a biological child, Megan, and Lindiwe, (Kertrice Maitisa) the daughter of a former domestic worker who died. The catalyst for open warfare between the mother and adopted daughter is the biological cousin of Lindiwe, Sicelo Mabbundla (Mbulelo Grootboom) who confronts Lindiwe with her biological origins.
The rational plot with its superb characterisations is teased out by the three performers under Lara Bye’s control to make this a searing work well worth seeing. The Market Theatre has or had a tag line “Learn South African – Visit the Market Theatre”. This is definitely true of this work.
Rainbow Scars runs at the Barney Simon Theatre, Market Theatre complex until 8 December 2013.