Year: 2009

Title of the play: Lost in the Stars

Author: Maxwell Anderson, based on the novel Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton (book and lyrics); music by Kurt Weill. 

Director: Jude Kelly

Others in the Cast: Clive Rowe, Josie Benson, Tsakane Maswanganyi, Cornelius Macarthy


Theatre and location: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Other productions of the same play: 

Plot summary: A Zulu village minister, Stephen Kumalo's son, Absalom, left home for work in the mines but has disappeared in Johannesburg. Kumalo searches for him, only to learn that Absalom has been arrested for shooting a wealthy white man during a botched robbery. In effect, it's the story of the Prodigal Son who doesn't return. Summary from Art & Seek 

Peth’s role: James Jarvis


Rowe as Kumalo developed a deeply moving relationship with James Jarvis, a crucial non-singing role here portrayed by Edward Petherbridge with a depth of emotional characterisation that lifted the second act to the high standards of the music-rich first. Their relationship rang entirely true thanks to the humanity brought to bear by both actors.  Stephen Graham in Musical Criticism


If one wondered why Clive Rowe had been cast as Stephen Kumalo when this and so much else in the score lies too low for him, the answer came in that final scene when he and the wonderful Edward Petherbridge stunned us into a numbed silence as the seeds of reconciliation were tentatively, painfully, sown. - Edward Seckerson, The Independent, 25 June 2009 


As for Rowe’s nemesis, an urbane but dogmatic champion of white supremacy, Edward Petherbridge injected depth and humanity into a slightly underwritten character whose worldview is transformed at the close. - Clive Davis, The Times, June 25, 2009

Other reviews:

Jerome Weeks, May 28, 2009

More reviews here

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