Marcel Meyer as Oliver Winemiller & Nicholas Dallas as the Lutheran minister in One Arm.

Award-winning theatre production company Abrahamse & Meyer Productions will be staging One Arm, Tennessee Williams’ most provocative, hard-hitting and erotically-charged short story at Artscape in Cape Town next month.

Written in 1942 and published as a limited edition that was sold under the counter in niche bookstores because it was considered “too hot” for the general public, One Arm is the story of an aspiring boxer who loses one arm in a car accident and turns to prostitution to survive.

The young hustler violently murders a client and is sentenced to death for his crime. On death-row, he receives hundreds of letters from former clients explaining how deeply he touched their lives. Explicit and daring, One Arm gives a graphic account of the homosexual underworld during 1940s.

Because their previous productions of Williams’ works have been so successful and well-received, Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer of Abrahamse & Meyer Productions were granted special permission from the Tennessee Williams Estate to adapt this piece – one of Williams’ best-known erotic short stories – for the stage.

They adapted it as a tour-de-force for two actors and focus on the central relationship between the convicted hustler and a young Lutheran minister who visits him on death row.

Highlighting Williams’ themes of voyeurism, exhibitionism and paraphilia, this adaptation uses erotic fetishism and sexual role-play as a major dramatic devise in the play by having the young Lutheran minister voyeuristically role play the various characters in the boxer’s life-story.

Multi award-winning Fred Abrahamse directs Marcel Meyer playing Oliver Winemiller (the boxer turned hustler) and Nicholas Dallas as the young Lutheran Minister. Charl-Johan Lingenfelder produced the music while Meyer designed the costumes.

Meyer has received international accolades as a Williams leading man, impressing with his brooding performance as Chicken in Kingdom of Earth as well as his sensitive reading of the Angel of Death in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore. Dallas won acclaim for his performance as the Witch of Capri in Milk Train and for his intense performance as Lot in Kingdom of Earth.

Abrahamse, who is also responsible for set and lighting design, has garnered a reputation as a leading director of Williams’ repertory with acclaimed productions of The Glass Menagerie, Kingdom of Earth and The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.

Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer

Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer

One Arm is Tennessee Williams at his most provocative and hard-hitting and is a must-see for all serious theatre-lovers. It runs at Artscape in the Arena Theatre from 28 August until 14 September. Ticket prices range from R100 to R150 and bookings can be made through Computicket or Artscape Dial-A-Seat.

Because of the success of their productions of Kingdom Of Earth and The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore both here and in the States, Abrahamse and Meyer have been invited to this year’s Tennessee Williams Festival in St Louis where they will stage The Lady Aoi, a play by Japanese playwright Yukio Mishima who was one of Williams’ friends.

After the festival they will stay on and work with an American production company to create a new production of one of Williams’ very early works, Stairs To The Roof, which will launch a newly-refurbished theatre in St Louis where Williams worked as a young man.

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