Review: Inside Uitlander

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The Independent Culture
Review: Inside Uitlander

Inspired by a miserable teenage transplant from Seventies Newcastle to the scorched Veldt of Apartheid South Africa, this one-woman play enriches a familiar autobiographical, culture-shock narrative with resonant observation and wry humour. When her father swaps coalmines for goldmines, Carole McGuigan's round-eyed teen is catapulted into an alien society divided between blacks and whites, poor trash and country clubbers, Boers and immigrants. Resisting assimilation into an ex-pat community that contains "the kind of people you'd go to the other side of the world to avoid", she clings to her threatened identity by reading old Jackie magazines and watching The Sweeney dubbed into Afrikaans. First produced on radio, McGuigan's script is textured with dialect and detail that evoke adolescent angst and the home-sick aspirations of exiled Uitlanders. Coming-of-age comedy is off-set by an obliquely realised portrait of political bigotry and unrest.

Assembly Rooms. To 31 Aug