This Thursday sees the opening of Athol Fugard’s anti apartheid drama My Children! My Africa! at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre.
Roger Mortimer and Deborah Edgington direct the hard hitting play which explores South Africa’s race issue.
Set in 1984, 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… …
My Children! My Africa! confronts the tragedy of apartheid in Fugard’s native land.
At its heart is the debate surrounding the burning desire for justice and change.
The reaction of anger and violence versus the rejection of polemics sits aloingside the argument that education, restraint and the search for peaceful solutions, may offer more lasting hope for the future.
Tony, Evening Standard and Writers’ Circle Award-winner Athol Fugard is one of the defining voices of South Africa during apartheid.
He is best known for Master Harold and the Boys, Sizwe Bansi is Dead and The Road to Mecca. My Children! My Africa! was first staged in London at the National Theatre in 1990; this is its first professional production in London since.
Talking about the play Fugard said: “Should violence be met with violence? Or is there an alternative?
“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 do much, much more than that. Words can get inside those armoured cars. Words can get inside the heads of the people inside those armoured cars.”
Two Sheds Theatre’s production of My Children! My Africa! begins previews tomorrow and runs until May 16.