Provocative prison play on at Baxter

11 April 2005

Award-winning American playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis's brooding, provocative prison drama, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, is on at the Baxter Theatre Centre stage until April 23.

Set in Riker's Island maximum security prison, New York, in the heart of the overburdened American justice system, two prisoners in protective custody are allowed one hour a day outside in the sunshine. Tshamano Sebe plays Lucius Jenkins, a "superstar" serial murderer, who has found God on death row and whose pride and religious zeal defies the bars that hold him prisoner.

The other is a seemingly innocent Puerto Rican youngster, Angel Cruz, played by Vaneshran Arumugam, facing a murder charge for shooting a public figure.

The compelling encounter between the two men, an over-ambitious public defender and a sadistic prison warden, raises the issues of guilt, responsibility, faith and what it is to be a man. UCT alumnus Lara Bye (The Shadrack Affair, A Comical Tragedy) directs a formidable cast, promising a "powerful, raw and fascinating theatre experience - not for the fainthearted".

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