Fugard classic revived

JAMES Ngcobo, the theatre director known for fine-tuning old classics into modern pieces relevant to our times, has done it again.

JAMES Ngcobo, the theatre director known for fine-tuning old classics into modern pieces relevant to our times, has done it again.

This time he has delved into the work of Athol Fugard, the father of South African progressive theatre, and turned Master Harold and the Boys into something that can make all of us proud.

This is a major new interpretation of an important piece of world-acclaimed South African dramatic literature.

It will be seen for the first time in a decade at the Theatre on the Square from March 16 for a four- week season.

The production will star Pakamisa Zwedala, Daniel Buckland and NatRamabulana.

It will give a new generation of theatre-goers a chance to see this magnificent play.

Master Harold has not only become a set-work in schools and universities, but this revival has proven its extraordinary relevance for today's audiences.

It is as pertinent today as it was when it premiered at The Market Theatre and at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival in 1983 and then went on to the Yale Repertory Theatre in the US.

The play bears witness to Fugard's greatness as a playwright.

It has been described as one of the most personal, powerful and lyrical works Fugard has ever written.

The dialogue sparkles with wonderful images and a distinctive, rough comedy. The conflict is also deeply moving.

The play is set in 1950. Master Harold is Hally, a white South African teenager - and the "boys" are Willie and Sam, who are two black men who work for his mother in her tea-room at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth.

The news that his invalid, alcoholic father is to be allowed home from hospital upsets Hally deeply, who, through guilt and fear, suddenly turns on his best friends - the "boys" Willie and Sam.

This racist outburst shows how the political and social realities of South Africa at that time came to distort and dominate our closest relationships with one another.

The play will run at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton.

Performances take place nightly at 8.15pm from Tuesdays to Fridays and at 5.30pm and 8.30pm on Saturdays.

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