Press release: Powerful co-production of Athol Fugard Classic for Fugard Theatre Run

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Following an acclaimed premiere at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, a new production of Athol Fugard’s powerful classic – Statements after an arrest under the immorality act comes to The Fugard Studio Theatre from 17 September for a limited season.

Bookings are now open and can be made through The Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554 or through The Fugard Theatre’s website at www.thefugard.com.

Liezl de Kock and Marlo Minnaar in Statements after an arrest under the immorality act. (Photo credit: Claude Barnardo)

Presented by Eric Abraham and The Fugard Theatre in partnership with the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, this compelling new co-production directed by Greg Karvellas opened to rapturous responses at the recent KKNK, with praise including, “Marlo en Liezl lewer ’n onvergeetlike vertolking”, and was nominated for five Kanna Awards.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the KKNK and Kunste Onbeperk, which presents the Festival, and that recently awarded Athol Fugard with its Kunste Onbeperk Lifetime Achievement Award for Theatre.

Marlo Minnaar (7de LaanSanta GamkaSara Se GeheimBoland Moorde) is gripping as Errol Philander,  with Liezl de Kock (Piet se OptelgoedCrazy in Love, Pictures of You, African Gothic) equally captivating as Frieda Joubert. 

Other acclaim for the production included comments such as:

 “Liezl de Kock en Marlo Minnaar is in perfekte tweepas en reg gekies vir die rolle. Albei speel met groot sensitiwiteit en gaan nog groter hoogtes  haal sodra die stuk ingespeel is. Statements after an arrest under the immorality act verdien weer aandag. Dit vier menswees deur die teendeel te wys – die onmenslikheid van apartheid. Dit het poetiese oomblikke en oomblikke van verskrikking.” (Laetitia Pople, NETWERK 24)

“Die regisseur, Greg Karvellas, het baie sensitief met sy akteurs gewerk en ek het ná die eerste paar minute saam met hulle beign ontspan… Dit is een van daardie produksies waar alles saamwerk om die eindproudk soveelsterker te maak. Van die regie, stelontwerp, belighting tot die klank. Greg sê hy het die drama as ’n riller aangepak.” (Marchelle van Zyl, KRIT).

Written in 1972, Statements after an arrest under the immorality act is set in apartheid South Africa, where relationships across the colour bar were a criminal offence.

Two lovers – a coloured man and white woman meet secretly in the library where the woman works to make love and share their hopes and fears. A neighbour reports them to the police who secretly photograph them from the informant’s backyard and eventually break in and arrest the couple under the then inhuman and universally pilloried Immorality Act.

The play is a compelling and deeply moving love story in which the physically and emotionally naked lovers expose not only their bodies but also their deepest longings for personal and emotional freedom.

Statements after an arrest under the immorality act is written by Athol Fugard and directed by Greg Karvellas. Set Design and Lighting Design is by Wolf Britz, Soundscape is by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and Sound Design is by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and David Classen.

 “It was an honour to bring this classic play to life as part of the KKNK’s 25th birthday celebrations,” says Daniel Galloway, Managing Director of The Fugard Theatre. “We thank Hugo Theatre and his team for their vision, professionalism and creative excellence in partnering with us on this production. We can’t wait to present it to our Cape Town audiences.”

Athol Fugard was born in 1932 in Middelburg in the Karoo. An internationally acclaimed playwright director and occasional actor, for over half a century he has written almost forty soul-searing plays with roles for all South Africans which have moved audiences in South Africa and around the world to laughter and tears as they reflected the inhumanity of apartheid.

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“The play is a compelling and deeply moving love story in which the physically and emotionally naked lovers expose not only their bodies but also their deepest longings for personal and emotional freedom.”

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His plays champion truth and a fundamental universal humanity. In 2011 he received the ultimate recognition from the world’s most prestigious theatre community – a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre. He is also the author of four books and several screenplays.

His plays include Blood KnotBoesman and Lena,Master Harold and the BoysThe Train Driver, The Blue Iris and The Shadow of the Hummingbird

A number of his works have been turned into films with director Gavin Hood’s Tsotsi, based on his 1980 short story of the same name winning the 2005 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film – South Africa’s first Academy award in this category.

Athol’s work spans the period of apartheid in South Africa, through the first democratic elections, to Nelson Mandela’s presidency and into present-day, post-apartheid South Africa. 

The recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and awards, Athol was awarded the prestigious Praemium Imperiale global arts prize for Theatre/Film by the Japan Art Association in 2014.

One of the most performed playwrights in the world, he continues to direct and write plays. He shares his life with his wife the writer and academic Paula Fourie and their dog Jakkals. 

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  • There is an age advisory of 16 years (there is full nudity throughout).
  • Statements after an arrest under the immorality act will be performed in The Fugard Studio Theatre from 17 September on Tuesday to Saturdays at 8pm with a Saturday matinee at 4pm. 
  • Tickets from R160 to R220  can be booked through The Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554 or through The Fugard Theatre’s website at www.thefugard.com.
  •  There is a 20% discount available for the Friends of The Fugard members for certain performances and seating. These discounted tickets can be booked through the Fugard Theatre box office. Are you not yet a Friends of the Fugard member? Sign up now at the box office or online for priority booking and great specials! 
  • Please note: Latecomers will not be admitted after the start of the performance. There are loud sound effects within the performance. Access to The Studio Theatre is via two flights of stairs, if assistance is required kindly enquire at the box office. 
  • Visit the cosy ground-floor bar for a before and after show drink and delicious snacks and home made pizzas. If the weather plays along, enjoy the panoramic city views from The Fugard Theatre’s fantastic rooftop bar. There is secure parking for a small fee directly opposite The Fugard Theatre in Harrington Square. 

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