Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tsotsi writer Fugard gave SA township actors a voice

The Eastern province Herald on the amazing tale of how Athol Fugard got involved in the theatre of the townships.

By Ivor Markman

WITH international accolades raining down on the shoulders of ex-Port Elizabeth playwright, Athol Fugard after the film adaptation of his book Tsotsi won an Oscar earlier this year, the famous author is back in South Africa at his rural retreat in the village of Nieu Bethesda, 50km north of Graaff-Reinet.

The Herald travelled to his home for an exclusive interview about the creation of the New Brighton-based, black theatrical group, the Serpent Players, during the height of the apartheid regime.

While the Gavin Hood-directed film has put Fugard back in the public spotlight, most South Africans are not aware of his seminal contribution to SA theatre through the players – the first serious black theatre troupe in the country.

Shortly after returning home to PE from a tour of his nationally acclaimed play, The Blood Knot in 1963, Fugard one night had an unexpected visit at his flat in Bird Street from a group of New Brighton residents.

Read more here.


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