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A Lesson from Aloes and Blood Knot in London.  A new John Kani play.  Sizwe Bansi named as one of the 40 best plays to see before you die.

Please pass on details of any performances etc click here.  Last update 19 March 2019.


A Lesson from Aloes in London

Fugard A Lesson from Aloes 

Finborough Theatre present A Lesson from Aloes from 27 Feb- 23 Mar 2019.   The director is Janet Suzman and the actors are Dawid Minnaar (Piet), David Rubin (Steve) and Janine Ulfane (Gladys).

"In the small backyard of a house in a shabby Port Elizabeth suburb, pots of aloe – the desert plant that can thrive in the most barren soil – bear silent witness to a world where trust has been betrayed and destroyed.

South Africa in the 1960s. Apartheid is at its height. Mandela’s ANC has just been banned as a terrorist organisation. Informers are everywhere.

Left leaning Afrikaner Piet and his wife, Gladys, hold a party for their mixed-race friend Steve who has just been released from prison.   But when mistrust creeps into your own backyard, the closest of ties are undone. Who has betrayed this group of friends? And why is one of them on a one way ticket out of the country? "

Click on the image above for more details.


Blood Knot in London

Athol Fugard Blood Knot 

Orange Tree Theatre present Blood Knot from 8 Mar -20 Apr 2019.   Nathan McMullen plays Morrie and Kalungi Ssebandeke plays Zach.

The director is Matthew Xia with Basia Bińkowska (designer), Ciarán Cunningham (lighting Designer, Xana (sound designer & composer), Angela Gasparetto (movement director), Kevin McCurdy (fight director), Emma Woodvine (voice and dialect coach), Megan Rarity (costume supervisor) and Sophie Parrott CDG (casting consultant).

"It’s been a year since Morrie returned to Port Elizabeth to live with his brother Zach. They share childhood memories of their mother, yet have wildly contrasting life experiences due to their different fathers.

Morrie wants to take them away from their township shack, buy a small farm and make a new life. To take their minds off the struggle, they decide Zach needs a pen pal. But who should it be? An innocent game can quickly go wrong...

As things get complicated, the stakes rise: can they free themselves from the enduring prejudices provoked by the different shades of their skin?".

Click on the image above for more details.

John Kani's Kunene and the King in Stratord-upon-Avon, UK

John Kani Kunene and the King 

The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK present Fugard veteren John Kani's new play Kunene and the King.  Kani will be performint the play togehter with Antony Sher.  The director is Janice Honeyman.

"South Africa, 2019. Twenty-five years since the first post-apartheid democratic elections, two men from contrasting walks of life are thrust together to reflect on a quarter century of change."

Click on the image above for more details.


Encyclopædia Britannica Web's Best Site

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Encyclopædia Britannica has listed this site as the Web's best site on Athol Fugard.  Thanks- click on the image for the encyclopædia.


Sizwe Bansi one of the 40 plays to read before you die

The Independent 40 plays to see before you die

The Independent newspaper named the “40 best plays to read before you die”. Sizwe Bansi is Dead is one of the 40.

“Athol Fugard came to see that the righteous anger of didactic anti-apartheid drama was not as effective as the subversive laughter of the black townships when it came to getting across the harshness of the conditions there. Certainly, there is nothing moralising or solemn about this piece which was developed by Fugard from improvisations with the great John Kani and Winston Ntosha who first performed it. A mischievous shaggy dog story, it pulls the audience into an atmosphere of good-humoured sociability. Sizwe is a work-seeker in Port Elizabeth who can't get a job because he doesn't have a permit. It turns out that he has found a dead man's pass book and has substituted his own photo, killing off Sizwe Bansi. A deceptively light and humane play that outlasts the apartheid era.”

The list of playwrights ranges from Sophocles and Aeschylus, to Shakespeare and Middleton, to Ibsen, Chekhov, Wilde. In the twentieth century there are Coward, Pinter, Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Pirandello and most recently Sarah Kane, Lorraine Hansberry, Tony Kushner, Martin Sherman, Caryl Churchill and Jez Butterworth.

The article is here.


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Too late- see what you missed!!

Statements after an arrest under the immorality act in Philidelphia

Fugard Statements 

Blue Mercury Theatre present Statements at Independence Library from 12-17 Sept 2017.   The director is Leigh E. Bicica and the actors are Brandon Pierce and Megan McDermott.

"Athol Fugard’s provocative play depicts the love affair between a black man and a white woman in apartheid South Africa. They share their deepest longings while battling the oppressive laws of society and their own unconscious prejudices. A cry for social change from a dangerous love that dares to defy all the rules."

Click on the image for more details.


The  Island in London

Fugard The Island

The Theatre Chipping Norton and The Dukes Lancaster Present The Island at the Southwark Playhouse from 31 May- 24 Jun 2017.  The director is John Terry, design is by Samantha Dowson, movement by Diane Alison Mitchell and lighting by Alexandra Stafford. Actors Edward Dede and Mark Springer are stunningly good in the roles.

Click on the image for more details.  Very highly Recommended.




The Island in USA

Fugard The Island - click for link

Metro Stage present The Island from 26 Mar- 26 Apr 2015.  The director is Tom Jones.  Doug Brown plays Winston and Michael Anthony Williams plays John.

"The Island devised by Athol Fugard and actors John Kani and Winston Ntshona. Originally seen at MetroStage in 1991, The Island will also return in honor of our 30th anniversary. It depicts the psychological and physical abuse suffered by black political prisoners in South Africa, using the prisoners anticipated performance of the Greek drama Antigone as a symbolic means of political protest".

Click on the image for more details.


My Children! My Africa! in Hollywood, USA

MKy Children My Africa - click for link

My Children! My Africa! is on at the Crossley Theatre from 20 Mar- 3 May 2015. 

"In Athol Fugard’s tale of friendship and racial tension, a schoolmaster in a small South African township describes hope as “a dangerous animal.” Can he combine the talents of a black male student with a white female student on an educational journey in the midst of apartheid?"

The directed is Inger Tudor and the producer is Catherine Gray. The actors are Rodrick Jean-Charles, Aaron Jennings, Maurie Speed.

Click on the image for more details.



New book on Fugard

A new book on Fugard by Alan Shelley.  More details soon.



People Are Living There in South Africa

People Are Living There - Click for Link

The Market Theatre and the Windybrow Theatre present People Are Living There from 22 Apr- 24 May 2015.

The director is Andre Odendaal and the cast are Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Carel Nel, Dania Gelderblom and Francois Jacobs.  Lighting design is by Mannie Manim, set design by Nadya Cohen, costume design by Nthabiseng Makone and the stage manager is Thunyelwa Thambe. 

"This is one of only two Fugard plays that do not concern Apartheid or township life. Instead this psychological study written in 1968 focuses on four downtrodden white people living in the centre of Johannesburg. Fugard garnered material for the play when he and his wife stayed in lodgings in Braamfontein when he was employed by the Johannesburg Native Commissioners court house.

The four characters face tough times as people with no or little education, stuck in a small apartment with very little to do and nowhere much to go. Each started out with their own longings and desires, but their dreams have faded along with hope as the disappointment of life shapes them into people who no longer even recognise themselves. 

Milly, the main character and landlady, is celebrating her 50th birthday. She has recently been cast aside by her long-term lover and the hurt and loneliness cut deep. The other characters are the lodgers in her home, starting with Don, a young man whose pretentions at being the academic type are let down by his lack of drive and ambition. His fellow lodgers are a young couple, Shorty and Sissy. Shorty is a sweet but simple-minded man with a passion for boxing. He married 18-year-old Sissy after falling in love with her on their first meeting. But Sissy is restless and looking for something more, marrying Shorty only because she saw him as an opportunity to rise above her own dismal circumstances.

The stage is set for confrontation and rage as Fugard explores the sense of isolation and frustration that these characters feel and the sorry results if we sit around and just wait for life to happen."

Click on the image for more information.


The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek in New York, USA

The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek - click for link

Fugard's new play is on at The Signature Theatre, New York from 21 Apr- 7 Jun 2015.

Fugard directs and the actors are Bianca Amato, Leon Addison Brown, Caleb McLaughlin and Sahr Ngaujah.

"Aging farm laborer Nukain has spent his life transforming the rocks at Revolver Creek into a vibrant garden of painted flowers. Now, the final unpainted rock, as well as his young companion Bokkie, has forced Nukain to confront his legacy as a painter, a person and a black man in 1980s South Africa. When the landowner’s wife arrives with demands about the painting, the profound rifts of a country hurtling toward the end of apartheid are laid bare.

Athol Fugard, Signature’s 2012 Playwright-in-Residence and winner of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Tony Award, returns with a new play inspired by the life of outsider artist Nukain Mabusa."

Click on the image for more details.


The  Children! My Africa! in London

My Children! My Africa! - click for link

Two Sheds Theatre present My Children! My Africa! at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London from 28 Apr- 16 May 2015.  The directors are Roger Mortimer and Deborah Edgington.  Nathan Ives-Moiba plays Thami, Rose Reynolds plays Emily and Anthony Ofoegbu plays Mr. M.

"South Africa, 1985 - the fourth decade of apartheid. Two opposing forces struggle for the soul of Thami, a young, brilliant black man. His teacher insists that education, even the inferior “Bantu” education he is forced to teach, is the way to liberation. But Thami has begun to listen to angrier voices...

'Should violence be met with violence? The play is actually about my internal debate, at the end of which I found myself believing that putting words on paper is a valid form of action. You can throw stones, petrol bombs and molotov cocktails as hard as you like at those armoured cars, but you’re not going to do much damage. Words can get inside those armoured cars. Words can get inside the heads of the people inside those armoured cars."

Click on the image for more details.  Highly Recommended.


Playland in Nottingham, UK

Playland - click for link

New Perspectives Theatre perform Playland at the Holloway’s Florence Nightingale Memorial Hall, Nottingham on 8 Mar 2015.

"With the country in the grips of a brutal apartheid regime, the park promises an evening of thrills and laughter.

Martinus, a black South African, is the amusement park’s night-watchman. Gideon, who is a white Afrikaner, and ex-serviceman, has come along for a good night out.

When they find themselves face to face, their encounter is charged with history and danger.

Athol Fugard is one of the world’s most performed living playwrights, renowned as being a fearless chronicler of South Africa and its troubled history. 

Playland is one of his most personal and yet rarely performed plays."

Click on the link for more details.

Sizwe Bansi and The Island in London

Fugard Sizwe Bansi - click for link

Sizwe Banzi is Dead: "How can I live as another man's ghost? 

It’s 1972 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and his passbook gives him just three days to find work. No work and he’ll be deported. That was four days ago.

So when Sizwe stumbles across a dead body with a passbook, he asks himself – does his identity card really define who he is? Can he give up his family and his name in order to survive?"

Directed by Matthew Xia, design by Hyemi Shin and Richard Hammarton, light by Ciaran Cunningham.


The Island, Fugard - click for link

The Island: "John and Winston are cellmates.   One may soon be released; one serves a life sentence, but for now they are both prisoners. As they prepare to perform Antigone for the rest of the prison, the two friends begin to see themselves in the characters, exposing the tensions in their friendship and the oppression around them.

Directed by Alex Brown, producer Claire Turner, design Holly Pigott and light Richard Howell.

The two plays are at the Young Vic in London.

Sizwe Banzi is Dead is on from 18- 28 Sept 2013.
The Island is on from 7-30 Nov 2013.

Click on the images for more information.


Fugard in discussion with Jez Butterworth and Rebecca Lenkiewicz

Fugard in conversation - click for link

Fugard in conversation with playwrights Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem) and Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Her Naked Skin) at the Simpkins Lee Lecture Theatre, Oxford, UK.  Click on the image to watch the video.


Master Harold film coming on DVD

Master Harold and the Boys  Master Harold & and the Boys

The new film of 'Master Harold' and the boys is directed by Lonny Price.  Hally is played by Freddie Highmore and Sam by Ving Rhames, Willie by Patrick Mofokeng and Bully by Justin Stein.

The film is now available from Amazon USA here.  It is available on DVD or Blue-ray.  Thanks to Giacomo from the forum for the information.



Have You Seen Us, new play

Frank Rizzo reports that Fugard is working on a rewrite for his latest play, Have You Seen Us, "his first play set in the USA in a coffee shop in a small shopping mall in Southern California.  A second reading is planned at the home of Sam Waterston, directed by Gordon Edelstein, artistic director of Long Wharf theatre who staged the premiere of Fugard's Coming Home at his New Haven theater in January".  The link is here


New book on Fugard

A new book on Fugard by Alan Shelley.  More details soon.


Master Harold... and the Boys in Seattle, USA

Master Harold and the boys - click for link

West of Lenin present Master Harold... and the boys.

"A landmark play... set in 1950's apartheid South Africa. A universal coming-of-age story about a seventeen-year-old white boy, who has grown up with two black servants in his mother's tea shop, forms into a compelling drama... it is now acknowledged as a classic of the stage, whose themes of injustice, racism, friendship and reconciliation traverse borders and time."

The actors are James Lindsay ( Hally), G.Val Thomas ( Sam) and Kevin Warren ( Willie).

It is on from 28 Mar- 21 Apr 2013 at West of Lenin in Seattle, USA.  Click on the image for more details.


My Children My Africa in NY, USA

My Children My Africa - click for link

Theatre Arts present a workshop production of My Children! My Africa

“My Children! My Africa!” tells the story of Mr. M, an idealistic teacher in South Africa in 1984, who seeks to provide a future for his student Thami by forming a debate team with Isabel, a brave student from the local white school. But outside the classroom Mr. M’s hopes for Thami are challenged by their generational divide and increasing political turmoil. 

The director is Cynthia Henderson and the cast includes Ashton Muniz, Jelani Pitcher, Sarah Morrisette, Cora Joe Anderson, and Ray Zanders.  The assistant director is Colby Senior, ad further credits are dramaturg Rocco Praderio, lighting/sound designer E-hui Woo, freelance costume designer Heidi Hermiller, production liaison Eric Rothstein, production assistant Danica Kelley, assistant stage manger Kelsey Dunne, and stage manager Travis Coxson.

It is on 13- 14 Apr 2013  in the Earl McCarroll Studio Theatre (Studio 2) in Dillingham Center, Ithica, NY.  Tickets are free but reservations are required- click on the image for more details.

Performance times are 2:00pm and 8:00pm on Saturday, April 13th, and 2:00pm and 8:00pm on Sunday, April 14th. All performances will be held.

The Road to Mecca in Milwaukee, USA

The Road to Mecca- click for link

Renaissance Theaterworks present The Road to Mecca.

The director is Suzan Fete and the cast are Linda Stephens (Helen), Bri Sudia (Elsa) and Jonathan Gillard Daly (Marius).  The Production Team are Julie Swenson (Producer), Brandy Kline (Stage Manager), Lisa Schlenker (Set Design), R.H. Graham (Lighting Design), Holly Payne (Costume Design), Paul Hurley (Sound Design), Nikki Kulas and Jen Lyons (Prop Design), Raeleen McMillion (Dialect Coach), Katie Martin (Visual Artist and 1000+ owl making), Brandon Kirkham (Sculptures), Anthony Lyons (Technical Director), Kat Wodtke (Deck Chief), Darcy Devens (Backstage/Wardrobe).

I like a play where "owl making" is part of the credits.

It is on at The Studio Theatre, Milwaukee from 5- 28 Apr 2013.  Click on the image for more details.

Fugard festival in Namibia

Playland, Sizwe Bansi is Dead and Hello and Goodbye will all be performed as part of the annual festival of Committed Artists of Namibia.


Master Harold... and the Boys in Sacramento, USA

Master Harold by Fugard- click for link

Sacramento Theatre Company present Master Harold... and the boys.

The cast are Michael J. Asberry (Sam), Rob Anthony Gray (Willie) and Will Block (Hally).  The director is Buddy Butler.

It is on from 27 Mar- 5 May 2013.  Click on the image for more details.


Blood Knot in New York, USA

Signature Theatre Company present Blood Knot, directed by Fugard.  The actors are Colman Domingo (Zachariah) and Scott Shepherd (Morris).

"Between patchwork walls in a one-room shack, two biracial South African brothers grapple with crippling poverty and lonely isolation. Morris, the punctilious force that keeps their room tidy, is light-skinned enough to pass for white, but dark-skinned Zach feels imprisoned by his job at a whites-only park. When they find themselves on some dangerous new ground, the brothers must come face to face with the blood knot between them."

Set design is by Christopher H. Barreca, costume design by Susan Hilferty. lighting by Stephen Strawbridge, sound by Brett Jarvis.  The dialect coach is Barbara Rubin, props by Sarah Bird, production stage manager is Pamela Salling and assistant stage manager is Maggie Swing.


New play in Afrikaans

Athol Fugard - click for link

During a talk with students on 7 Nov 2011 at the Stellenbosch University Fugard stated he was writing his first play in Afrikaans.  Click on the image for more details.


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