The Prehistory of Moses P
Written & Performed by Erik de Waal
ArtsDiva Productions - Edmonton, AB
V.10 - Planetarium 
RISK IT ALL. Fringe fave Erik de Waal animates a fusillade of characters and situations as the past is revealed and the future thrown into uncertainty. Two men. Two choices. A high-stakes journey into the heart of Apartheid South Africa and the soul of ordinary people living in extraordinary times.
"He is magnetic and immense, he draws in the light. His booming voice and confident characterizations drive this loving drama to its wrenching conclusion." - Winnipeg Free Press

Erik de Waal

Show Info:
60 Mins
Tickets: $12

Parental Guidance
Warnings:Mild language
Thu July 20 6:45 PM
Sat July 22 1:45 PM
Sun July 23 5:00 PM
Mon July 24 9:15 PM
Wed July 26 12:00 PM
Thu July 27 10:30 PM
Fri July 28 3:30 PM
Sat July 29 5:30 PM

The Prehistory of Moses P

ArtsDiva Productions—Planetarium

“Do the right thing.” How can such a statement, so simple, and so obvious, be so complicated?

In the opening of the show, we meet the adult Moses P, an eager, newly elected white politician in apartheid South Africa (1985). He introduces us to some of his family, notably Ma Kate, who is white, and reassures his constituents that he will work very hard on their behalf and do the right thing.

Flashback to 1945, (pre-apartheid) and we meet Johnny and a very pregnant Maggie. He is white and she is ‘coloured’ but it doesn’t matter. People are just people. We all have to live together.

For the remainder of the show, de Waal shuttles between these two moments in history with great ease, as he continues to add information about the lives of these characters. With each bit of information, the tension builds as the story lines reach to intersect each other, even thought the tone of the piece is most in line with the character of Johnny. So easy going at first, by the end of the play he is overwhelmed by helplessness. The apartheid system effectively boxes all of the characters into very uncomfortable corners. As this happen, every character is forced to consider doing the right thing. They all make a choice and each choice as consequences. I was thankful that I could have my own opinion of their choices, but was not asked to sit in judgement. I was thankful that I was given the luxury of exploring what “Do the right thing” meant to me.

As I read the programme notes (and everyone should), I was stunned by the systematic way that apartheid was introduced, and could not understand how anyone living in the 20th century could think that this system made any kind of sense. And then I turned inward to look at the way we in Canada view, and legislate our own indigenous population.

deWaal wisely does not explore reconciliation. That is another play. As with all global concerns, and this play explores one of many, we must make it a priority to reach consensus and “Do the right thing”.

Michelle Cook