Theatre

‘I See You’ at The Fugard explores vital questions.

Desmond Dube (Buthelezi) in I See You. Photo credit Johan Persson

MONGIWEKHAYA’s I SEE YOU at the Fugard explores vital questions for a new generation. 

Hot off its premiere at The Royal Court, London and Market Theatre run, South African Mongiwekhaya’s latest play, I See You will open at the Fugard Studio Theatre on May 5 and run until 28 May.

Presented by Eric Abraham and The Fugard Theatre – The Royal Court (London) and Market Theatre (Johannesburg) production is based on a true story and movingly addresses the questions of a new generation of South Africans encountering their country’s traumatised past.

Written by writer, actor and director Mongiwekhaya (Ubu and t

he Truth Commission; The Feather Collector), the play marks the directorial debut of Olivier award winner NomaDumezweni, who was last seen in the Fugard Theatre’s production of A Human being Died That Night (in Cape Town, Johannesburg, London and New York) and who will play Hermione Granger in the forthcoming Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London’s West End.

I See You features popular actor and singer Desmond Dube (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency; Hotel Rwanda; Dube on Mondays), in the role of Buthelezi; BayoGbadamosi (Little Revolution; Mad about the Boy) as Ben; Jordan Baker (Eastenders) as Skinn; LungaRadebe (Antigone: In The World; Touch my Blood) as Shabangu; Austin Hardiman (Wish; The First Man) as James and Sibusiso Mamba (SizweBanzi is Dead; Nongogo) as Masinga.

Design is by Soutra Gilmour, Lighting Design is by Richard Howell and Sound Design and music composed by Giles Thomas.  LuyandaSidiya is Movement Director, Zabarjad Salam is Voice and Dialect Coach and Assistant Direction is by John Haidar.

I See You (English) / Ngiyakubona (Zulu) / EkSienJou (Afrikaans) / Ndiyakubona (Xhosa) was Mongiwekhaya’s Royal Court debut play and was presented as part of International Playwrights, a Genesis Foundation Project. It was developed during the Royal Court`s new writing project in South Africa which began in 2013 and which was supported by the British Council and Connect ZA.

It’s post-Apartheid South Africa, after dark.‘Speak to me in your mother-tongue and I will let you go.’

Ben meets Skinn for a night out. But the party is interrupted by the police. Ben, a young student who doesn`t know his own history, is accused of a crime he didn`t commit. And Officer Buthelezi, a former freedom fighter, can`t let it go.“I don`t need your sorries white boy. Yes, you heard right. You know white people think we’re the same? We both look black. But only one of us is black.”

Press comments from the Royal Court run in London, include “magnificently played…excellent… Mongiwekhaya reminds us that language is political, wordplay not always playful” (The Observer); “a taut, disturbing thriller…Desmond Dube is magnificent” (Financial Times); “crackles with unease” (The Telegraph) and”rich performances” (The Stage).

“The Fugard Theatre is committed to putting on great theatre and occasionally providing a space to showcase the next generation of South African voices. Louis Viljoen is our current young writer in Residence at the Fugard,”says Eric Abraham, Founding Producer and Owner of the Fugard Theatre.  “We felt it essential to introduce Mongiwekhaya’s I See You to a Cape Town audience.  The play is a deeply moving and poignant exploration of the struggles of a new generation and of issues around identity and disconnection of language, across race, class and age. We are especially thrilled to host NomaDumezweni’s directorial debut”.

I See You will run at the Fugard Studio Theatre, from 5 to 28 May 2016, Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8pm with a matinee on each Saturday during the season at 4pm. The Fugard Theatre is situated in the heart of District Six, on the corner of Harrington and Caledon Streets, Cape Town.

Tickets, ranging from R120 to R170 are now available and can be booked through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. Bookings can also be made at the Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554. There is a generous 15% discount available for the Friends of The Fugard members.

Harrington Street car park is located at the corner of Caledon and Harrington streets and is available for the use of theatre patrons. Visit the cosy ground-floor bar, which opens two hours before all scheduled show times and stays open until last rounds are called… often as late as 1am. And if the weather is fine the bar on the fantastic rooftop terrace is opened, with its panoramic views of the city. Both bars offer a range of wines from some of the Cape’s top estates.

Submitted for: Christine Skinner (The Fugard).

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