Rohan Siva as John in the KCS production of Fugard'sThe Island
by Athol Fugard
Blood Knot is the play that took Fugard onto the world stage and the play in which he says that he 'found his voice'. It was originally performed by Fugard himself and Zakes Mokae. It tells the story of Morris and Zack, two 'Cape coloured' brothers, one ostensibly white the other unmistakably black, who live together in a miserable shack on the shores of a fetid lake in Korsten, a black township near Port Elizabeth, where they plan a future together on a farm. Their curious relationship is severely put to the test when by accident they become the pen-friend of a white girl whose brother is a policeman. As Morris says 'their dreams are enough to judge them'. They play with this 'white idea' and have to face 'the sins of their birth' in their dangerous game of dreams. All the hallmarks of Fugard's great works are here - the poetry, the role play and the universal themes. The play goes far beyond the particular conditions of South Africa in the 1960s and speaks of personal identity, hope,despair and brotherly love.
In this production Morris is played by Daniel Pirrie who starred in Never the Sinner in Edinburgh and the West End for KCS Theatre Company. Daniel has just left Edinburgh University. Zach is played by Khalid Abdalla who starred in inside the Island, The Zoo Story, The Imbecile and Bellavita and directed Someone Who'll Watch Over Me all for KCS Theatre Company on the Edinburgh Fringe. He is now at Cambridge, where he has performed the title role in Britannicus for Cambridge ADC, Dysart in Equus and the title role in Othello.
KCS Theatre Company at the Edinburgh Festival 2001
for full reviews.
Until last year, most of Khalid's dramatic career was concentrated on the Edinburgh Festival. He has acted in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe three times and directed once. In 1997 he took the lead male role in KCS Theatre Company's production of Louis Nowra's Inside the Island (***** - The Scotsman). In 1998, at seventeen, he directed KCSTC's production of Frank McGuinness's Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (***** - The Scotsman), making him the youngest director to receive the five star accolade from The Scotsman. In 1999, Khalid acted in all three plays in KCSTC's triple bill, Three Plays in Search of a Title: Jerry, in Edward Albee's The Zoo Story ("Khalid's portrayal of Jerry enthrals" - The Herald); Paroni in Pirandello's The Imbecile (**** - The Scotsman); and Mr Contento in Pirandello's Bellavita (Pick of the Day - The Independent). In 2000, he played the eponymous role in the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club's Edinburgh production of Racine's Britannicus. Outside Edinburgh he has played the title role in Macbeth and Craig in Frank McGuinness's Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, both for KCSTC. This academic year in Cambridge he has acted in the BATS production of Peter Shaffer's Equus taking the lead role, Martin Dysart, played the part of Richard Roma in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross (European Theatre Group Cambridge) and taken the title role in Othello (ADC). Last April he performed a series of short plays entitled Next Train Approaching on the London fringe. Khalid is presently in the process of setting up a theatre company which will debut in Cambridge this October. He is a first year student reading English at Queens' College Cambridge.
Khalid has since 2001 acted as the lead terrorist in United 93 and starts filming as the lead Amir in Marc Forster's film The Kite Runner (2007)
Khalid Abdalla plays the role of Zacharias in Blood Knot
Daniel Pirrie has just graduated from Edinburgh University with an MA (Hons.) in English Literature. In September he starts training for two years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Daniel acted in KCS Theatre Company's Never the Sinner at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1996 which transferred to the Arts Theatre in London's West End ("Daniel Pirrie's Richard Loeb is a tour de force: flamboyant, posturing, ironic and with the magnetism that the part requires" - The Scotsman "A great British hope" The Times).
Over the last four years he has acted for the Edinburgh University Theatre Company as Adam in Frank MacGuiness's Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, Eddie in Sam Shepherd's Fool for Love, Robert in Harold Pinter's Betrayal, Tim in Eric Bogosian's Suburbia amongst others.
In August 1999, he acted all the male roles in Hugh O'Connor's adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde off-Broadway, New York.
His last fringe appearance was as Professor Clarkington in the hit musical Whatever! at C Venue. Despite the rumours, this will definitely be his last fringe appearance.