In the early 1970s, at a time when collaboration between black and white theatre practitioners was the exception in South Africa, John Kani and Winston Ntshona worked with playwright Athol Fugard to create this comic examination of friendship, hope and the nature of identity, as one of many struggles to survive under apartheid.
Now in their sixties, Kani and Ntshona – who recreate their roles 35 years on from their first performance - were last seen at the National in 2002 in The Island (which they also co-wrote with Fugard). The visiting production is directed by Baxter Theatre’s Aubrey Sekhabi.
Overnight critics unanimously hailed the production as a success, some noting how poignant it seems now with the UK government introducing ID cards. They praised the performances of Kani and Ntshona as compelling and amusing, and were impressed by the way the play could change mood within a line of dialogue from jovial and anecdotal to brutal and oppressive.
- by Caroline Ansdell