Art

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Art is a 1994 French-language play by Yasmina Reza. [1]

Subject

The comedy, which raises questions about art and friendship, concerns three long-time friends, Serge, Marc, and Yvan. Serge, indulging his penchant for modern art, buys a large, expensive, completely white painting. Marc is horrified, and their relationship suffers considerable strain as a result of their differing opinions about what constitutes "art". Yvan, caught in the middle of the conflict, tries to please and mollify both of them.

Translations and adaptations

The English-language adaptation, translated by British playwright Christopher Hampton [2], opened in London's West End on 15 October 1996, starring Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and Ken Stott, produced by David Pugh and Sean Connery [3], running for eight years.

Performance history in South Africa

1997/98: Pieter Toerien, in association with David Pugh and Sean Connery, staged a South African production of the Hampton English translation, directed by Mark Graham, with Michael Atkinson (Marc), Ralph Lawson (Serge) and Graham Hopkins (Yvan). Design by Andrew Botha, lighting by Jannie Swanepoel. It played in the Alhambra Theatre in Johannesburg from 8 December to 14 February and in the Theatre on the Bay in Cape Town from 20 March to 11 April.

2014: Directed by Marthinus Basson at Aardklop starring Christiaan Olwagen, Wessel Pretorius and Wilhelm van der Walt.

Sources

Pieter Toerien theatre programme, 1997.

Pretoria News, 24 February 1998.

Review by Julius Eichbaum, Scenaria (205), February 1998:13-14.

The Star, 14 October 2014.

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