* 2007
From Playwrights

2004 & After

* Caligari 2009 - Lul 2010

Internet2 Day presentation *



"When you get in front of them, sure they'll laugh...Nyah! nyah!...they'll laugh. But just remember this brother, nobody laughs forever! There'll come a time when they'll stop laughing, and that will be the time when our Antigone hits them with her words"...

Two prisoners on Robben Island prison camp rehearse a performance of Antigone. One discovers he will shortly be released, the other is a lifer, so there is a meeting of hope and despair. The harshness of the camp is conveyed in long mime sequences. The relationship between the prisoners reminds me of the two brothers in Blood Knot. Another comparison is Jean Genet's Death Watch. The premiere was in the Space Theatre in Cape Town with Fugard directing Kani and Ntshona. The title was given as Die Hodoshe Span since any references to Robben Island prison camp would be unacceptable to the government. The play was revived in London in February 2000 with Kani and Ntshona and Fugard acting. It played to full houses in the Royal National Theatre with both actors demonstrating their towering acting abilities.

John Kani says (quoted in The Crossings Project): What we discovered after creating Sizwe Bansi was that we couldn’t have the text written down. This was because it would have been a document; it would have meant that the police would have evidence that could be presented to a District Attorney who might lay charges against us. So we kept continuing to improvise according to the interactions and response with the audience. That way we used our life experience, structured it around a story, to take the audience on a journey through to the end of the evening. After Sizwe Bansi Is Dead, we decided to explore the subject of Robben Island. To start off with, we put a blanket on the ground. We stood on it and began to move with Athol watching. We began to halve the blanket, halve the blanket, until there was just enough space for four feet to stand. We realised the restriction of space, and there it was – confinement. And there it was – prison.
Statement Plays

Fugard, Athol : A Lesson from Aloes ...

StageMatrix: Directing

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