The Island revisited

THOSE who have not seen the theatrical genius of South African born playwright Athol Fugard will be happy to know that his show The Island has a season at Windybrow Theatre.

THOSE who have not seen the theatrical genius of South African born playwright Athol Fugard will be happy to know that his show The Island has a season at Windybrow Theatre.

Directed by Mpho Molepo, the production will run until Sunday. Fugard is currently based in the US, but The Island is one of his best productions and has assumed classical status. However, it will be interesting to see how Molepo will interpret this play.

It is therefore expected that Molepo will give the play a fresh new perspective.

"Although I played the role of Winston in Malcolm Purkey's 2005 production of The Island, I have never actually seen a production of this South African classic.

"So my interpretation has not been influenced by any other directors or actors who have brought this Fugard work to audiences around the world.

"I have my own vision of the emotional journey within the play, which I believe is fresh yet honest to the spirit of the original," Molepo says.

The Island is part of the Windybrow Theatre's 2010 programme and fills an important niche.

"I must commend Windybrow for giving us the opportunity to perform South African classical theatre as part of the 2010 programme. Although the country has a special focus in 2010, we cannot ignore our heritage and the road that brought us to this point. We are expecting many foreign theatregoers during the 2010 programme and The Island gives them great insight and perspective into the country's history."

Having previously performed in the play, Molepo understands the challenges of filling the eponymous roles of John (Kani) and Winston (Ntshona), the original Serpent Players pioneers who co-wrote and workshopped the play with Fugard in 1973.

"Phakamisa Zwedala (John) and Elliot Makhubo (Winston) are at the same age as Kani and Ntshona were when they first performed the play in 1973, and bring a profound understanding of the history of our black people," Molepo says.

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