Terry Teachout’s article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, 2/17.)
Audiences in New York haven't been able to see much of the work of Athol Fugard, South Africa's greatest playwright, in recent years, but his stock is now taking a sharp leap upward. In addition to the Roundabout Theatre Company's current Broadway revival of "The Road to Mecca," Signature Theatre is mounting three Fugard productions this season, the first of which, "Blood Knot," has been directed by the author himself. That alone is reason to go, since "Blood Knot," the 1961 two-man play that introduced Mr. Fugard to the world's stages, is a modern classic, a play that moves with stealthy sureness from a quiet, almost nonchalant start to an overwhelming conclusion. To see what Mr. Fugard has done with it would be a must even if his staging were less effective—and he has done exactly right by "Blood Knot." If you don't find this revival enthralling, you're not thrillable.