The Island was written in 1973 by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona, three leading figures in South African theatre. It describes the conditions at Robben Island, the notorious apartheid-era prison whose most famous prisoner, Nelson Mandela, was incarcerated there for 22 years.
The two-hander was first staged in London at the Royal Court in 1974. It was revived by the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, and brought to the National this past January for a limited season of 20 performances, with Kani and Ntshona recreating their performances and Fugard directing. The production attracted critical acclaim and quickly sold out, even after the National hastily added another 16 performances in April.
All three men will again be reunited for the West End presentation next year. It will be produced by Lee Menzies.