Statements After An Arrest Under The Immorality Act @ Assembly Hall
Nothing about a sexual relationship between two people who are in love seems immoral. At first. During the course of Statements, there are small revelations that cast aspersions over the morality of the affair however, as the play intends to show you, this has nothing to do with the colour of the actors' skin.
Statements is a play very much about skin. Not just colour and and racial injustice however. The couple spend the majority of the play completely nude. It is never gratuitous, but necessary to the message. The play contains an interesting discussion around shame and pride. The actors' lack of shame in their own bodies adds to the insistence that they are not, and should not, be ashamed of what they are doing.
However, the difference between shame and vulnerability was, for me, missed. Their strength, while inspiring, became at times one dimensional. With more emotional levels, it could have had an even greater impact. The setting, a library, is an equally important theme in the play's fight against inequality. The idea of sharing knowledge and granting access to knowledge to a black man is frowned upon, yet the characters stand up for his right to learn and it is the path to knowledge that leads them on their path to sexual awakening.
A play with a highly important political message, Statements After An Arrest Under The Immorality Act is thought-provoking without being controversial and fits comfortably with the challenging tone of Assembly’s season of South African political art.