Jerry Mofokeng - The Judge_3

Acceptance – Experience Guide

“ACCEPTANCE” EXPERIENCE GUIDE

Three lost souls find themselves in limbo after being killed by their mother and appear to the judge of her case one night to tell their story. ACCEPTANCE is based on the events around the well-known multiple filicides (the deliberate act of a parent killing their child) by a South African-born mother of her three disabled (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) children in England in April 2014.

Jerry Mofokeng (Judge) Francois Viljoen (Nic) Lea Vivier (Sam)_Front-Lisa Derryn Overy (Jemma)
Jerry Mofokeng (Judge) Francois Viljoen (Nic) Lea Vivier (Sam)_Front-Lisa Derryn Overy (Jemma). Image Mariola Biela

The subject matter is quite dark and maudlin as the three ‘grown’ children drudge up various contributing factors and events that they feel should’ve been taken into consideration in the court and point fingers at individuals who should’ve connected the dots long before the event. There’s a back and forth as they plead their case and the judge pleads his. This is not light fare and you might feel a bit spent by the cold-hard evidence the lost souls present but, graciously, the piece is just shy of an hour.

A few things that didn’t sit well. I didn’t get the opening scene with the party hat – it was never explained or alluded to later, so it still jars. I also found the performance styles between Jerry Mofokeng and the other cast differed but it seemed to settled halfway through the piece as things became ‘realer’.

FLTR Francois (Nic) Lisa Derryn Overy (Jemma) Lea Vivier (Sam)
FLTR Francois (Nic) Lisa Derryn Overy (Jemma) Lea Vivier (Sam). Image Mariola Biela

Something about the play doesn’t quite gel and I don’t actually know what it is. But, that aside and on the whole, it’s a study on the “what if” scenario – if the murdered could come back and speak for themselves, as opposed to the defence or state attorneys putting words into their mouths, what would they say? How, if or when can murder be considered compassionate? What about the culpability of healthcare professionals in the case of depression?

All fascinating and unanswered questions to leave the theatre with (including “why do some audience members giggle at serious moments?” and “did the latecomers not see the start time?”). Acceptance runs at The Fringe, Joburg Theatre until 16 October. Tickets are R100 and the show starts 20:00.

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