The Year of Magical Thinking at Baxter Theatre starring Dorothy Ann Gould

By MapMyWay
27 June 2018

The Year of Magical Thinking starring celebrated South Africa actress Dorothy Ann Gould

The Baxter Theatre presents The Market Theatre production of The Year of Magical Thinking, a play by Joan Didion, based on her memoir and starring celebrated South Africa actress Dorothy Ann Gould, directed by Mark Graham Wilson. The Year of Magical Thinking is based on Didion’s memoir.

Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.

Following its hugely successful run at the Market Theatre earlier this year, the profoundly moving one-hander sees one of South Africa’s most celebrated and respected actresses return to the Baxter stage, teaming up again with producer, writer and director Graham Wilson. Most recently Dorothy Ann Gould received the Naledi Innovation in Theatre award for her significant contribution to the advancement and development of South African theatre through her vision and commitment.

Mark Graham Wilson – The Year of Magical Thinking

This production marks Mark’s return to theatre directing after an absence of several years, during which he focused on television which include artistic director of Generations, head writer of Scandal!, story liner on Binnelanders and director on Isidingo and Sewende Laan.

The Year of Magical Thinking is a journey through one of the most universal experiences of human suffering: bereavement. Described by American arts critics as “spell-binding” and “masterful”, the play is frequently harrowing, often amusing, yet ultimately, it is an expression of the power that love can offer to give life meaning.

It was listed by Beeld as one of their Top Five Weekend Things to Do and Daily Maverick said, “an excellent piece of work, one that provokes thought and awe in the best tradition of reflective drama.”

First directed by David Hare and performed by Vanessa Redgrave at the Booth Theatre in New York in 2007, the production ran for 24 weeks, such was its popularity. The memoir, upon which the play is based, won the National Book Award in 2005 and was short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

It chronicles the year following the death of Didion’s husband, John Gregory Dunne – an unexpected and sudden end of a 40-year partnership – just days after their only child, Quintana, had fallen dangerously ill and slipped into a coma.

Although it is Didion’s story, she makes her dramatic adaptation as much about her audience as herself. She is a woman who has lived through and survived immense loss and she pulls her audience into that space.

WHAT, WHEN & WHERE: The Year of Magical Thinking runs at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio for three weeks only, from 3 to 28 July, at 7.30pm.

TICKETS: prices range from R120 (early bird special, valid until 28 June and for performances from 3 to 7 July and block-bookings), R160 (Monday to Wednesday) and R180 (Thursday to Saturday).  Booking is through Webtickets or selected Pick n Pay stores.

There is an age restriction of 13 years.

PHOTO: Lungelo Mbulwana