Play explores topic of isolation

Alan Committie, John Maytham and Louis Viljoen are staging The Outlaw Muckridge at the Baxter.

Radio broadcaster and actor John Maytham has teamed up with director Alan Committie and writer Louis Viljoen for the world premiere of The Outlaw Muckridge, at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio, for two weeks only, until Saturday October 24, at 7pm.

This is the first live stage performance at the Baxter since lockdown was first implemented in March.

The story deals with a lonely, damaged man who has been taking care of his ailing mother for most of his life. In between bouts of depression and flashbacks to a life filled with emotional

abuse and failures, he wishes himself to be a vengeful cowboy out to right the wrongs of the world.

What or who he is avenging is not clear, but during one long night of the soul, the man realises that his greatest villain might be himself.

“The script began with an agreement between John and I that it should be a story very much inspired by the lockdown, but not about the lockdown”, explains Viljoen.

“Instead of using the pandemic as a plot point, we decided that the emotional cost of isolation and loneliness would drive the story and from there the play was born. My promise to John was to bring him madness and horror; the humour and pathos were natural side-effects of that promise.”

All performances will be limited to 50% percent capacity, with Covid-19 protocols in place, including the availability of hand sanitiser, tracking and tracing recorded, wearing of masks and physical distancing.

“I am delighted to be back in another solo performance in this mad Covid world,” says Maytham, who left full-time acting in 1990 for a career in radio journalism – the last 23 years of which have been with CapeTalk.

The performance runs at just under an hour, with no interval and there is an age restriction of 18.

Tickets for The Outlaw Muckridge cost between R100 and R120 through Webtickets. Patrons must arrive for the show an hour earlier to avoid delays and must wear masks.