Lionel Newton, Mojisola Adebayo in ’Hold Stil’l. Picture: Mark Wessels
Lionel Newton, Mojisola Adebayo in ’Hold Stil’l. Picture: Mark Wessels

Nadia Davids’ play 'Hold Still' world premiere postponed to 2022

By Supplied Time of article published Oct 5, 2021

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The most-anticipated world premiere of Nadia Davids' latest play, “Hold Still”, is scheduled for early 2022 due to an illness with one of the cast members.

Baxter Management confirmed in the statement that the illness is not Covid-19 related.

The production was scheduled to run for a limited season, starting on Wednesday, October 13, till Saturday, October 30, at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio.

Directed by Mdu Kweyama, the play stars Lionel Newton, Mojisola Adebayo, Tailyn Ramsamy and Braeden Buys.

“Hold Still” tells a riveting story of a family shaped by different generational traumas, who must confront their own histories to get through a single, life-changing night.

The multi-themed play focuses on a long-term marriage, and through it, examines the limits of middle-class empathy and the complexities of an inter-racial, intra-cultural family, living with the weight of catastrophic political histories.

The play’s genesis lies in Davids’ years in London when the refugee crisis hit, and Brexit was gaining traction.

She was deeply moved by stories of ordinary people extending themselves to support refugees.

She started to think about all the histories of immigration that London contained and how her own family history was shaped by movement – both enforced and chosen.

“A story began to form for me about a couple who prided themselves on their left-wing principles, whose own families had endured unspeakable histories of political and racist trauma – South African apartheid and the Jewish holocaust – who were themselves the children of refugees, of exiles, of people who had to hide in order to escape – and I began to wonder, how would they respond if they discovered a refugee in their home? Would it trigger courage or fear in them?” explains Davids.

She adds: “For the last several years, I’ve been struggling with what it means to be a ‘good person', with what it means to be a responsible, active citizen, and with how ordinary people are expected to respond to these catastrophic times.”

“’Hold Still’ comes out of an ongoing argument I’ve been having with myself about my own limitations in this regard, about wanting safety in an unsafe world, about the impulse to withdraw when what’s needed is engagement.”

Tailyn Ramsamy, Lionel Newton, Mojisola Adebayo and Braeden Buys. Picture: Mark Wessels

Set against a contemporary cosmopolitan London, rife with xenophobia, the fear of strangeness and the stranger is a steady theme throughout the play.

Rosa and Ben Feigel (played by Adebayo and Newton) are a progressive, dynamic North London couple.

She’s the daughter of South African exiles. He’s the son of a man who escaped on Kindertransport.

Their teenage son Oliver (Buys) – full of a political conviction his parents have encouraged – decides to hide a vulnerable person, his best friend and an asylum-seeking teenager (Ramsamy), in their home.

As the night unfolds, Rosa and Ben must grapple with what this reveals about their marriage.

Baxter Management urges patrons to 'park' their tickets for the return season.

“This means that no action is required on the part of the patron. The tickets will be ‘parked’ and will be automatically moved. They will be notified the moment the new dates have been confirmed.

“Those who have already booked for the production and who wish for a refund can do so by logging in to their Webtickets account, read the statement.

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