REVIEW: Dimetos, Donmar Warehouse

PUBLISHED: 14:07 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 07 September 2010

Four star rating South African writer Athol Fugard is perhaps best known for his political plays that challenged apartheid. Here he seems to focus on the fine line between harmony and chaos in personal relationships. Dimetos, a talented engineer, has aba

Four star rating

South African writer Athol Fugard is perhaps best known for his political plays that challenged apartheid. Here he seems to focus on the fine line between harmony and chaos in personal relationships.

Dimetos, a talented engineer, has abandoned his onerous city life for an isolated country existence. With his long-time housekeeper Sophia (Anne Reid) and his adolescent niece Lydia (Holliday Grainger) he shares a crude, rustic residence.

The women make the best of their lot because of their love for Dimetos and the household seem to rub along happily enough. However, the surprise visit of Danilo (Alex Lanipekun) reveals what is simmering beneath. He has been sent to persuade Dimetos back to work in the city on an urgent project,

Danilo soon falls for Lydia and in the drunken haze of a sunny afternoon forces himself upon her. She turns to the two people she trusts for comfort and support only to discover they have their motives for not helping her.

Jonathan Pryce is captivating in the lead role, evoking compassion for a character that it would be easy to dislike. Holliday Grainger proves her strength both as an actress and physically as she hangs erotically entwined from a suspended rope in the opening scene, while Anne Reid is bewitching and Alex Lanipekun puts in a fine, if slightly over-exuberant performance.

Until May 9

Jo Cooke

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