By Alison Foat
Athol Fugard’s play Master Harold… and the Boys for the Fugard Theatre in March 2013
Produced by Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre, Athol Fugard’s masterpiece, Master Harold …and the Boys, will open in the Fugard Studio Theatre on the 4th March 2013.
Set in the St. George’s Park tea room in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on a dreary, wet afternoon in 1950, Master Harold …and the Boys tells the story of three friends, one a 17 year old white boy and the other two the black servants he has grown up around, whose relationship is put to the test by societal and personal forces. The play devastatingly reveals how racial prejudice, especially legislated racial prejudice, insinuates itself into every social sphere of existence, until the very language of ordinary human discourse begins to reflect the policy that makes black men subservient to the power exercised by white. As with all of Athol Fugard’s work, the brilliance of Master Harold …and the Boys lies in that it deals not with political issues, but with individuals, and their struggles for life and happiness in a world that is set up to deny them these basic human rights.
Directed by Kim Kerfoot (Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act) and designed by Julia Anastasopoulos (Champ) Master Harold and the Boys will enjoy a limited engagement in the intimate Fugard Studio Theatre from 4 to 30 March 2013.
The troubled teenager, Hally, is played by newcomer Alex Middlebrook, who himself is currently in Grade 11 and comes to the Fugard Theatre by kind agreement with Reddam House, Tokai. While he has been on stage several times before (Gilbert and Sullivan’s King and I, Fiddler on the Roof and Yeomen of the Guard) Master Harold …and the Boys marks his professional theatre debut.
Willie is played by UCT graduate Themba Mchunu (Door, Land of the Cranes) while Sam is played by the celebrated, veteran South African Actor Tshamano Sebe (Green Man Flashing, Jesus Hopped the A Train, District Six the Musical, The Piano Player, Stokvel, Generations). Sebe has previously played the character of Sam for which he won the Fleur du Cap Award for Best Actor in 1999.
Bookings are now open and tickets, ranging from R130 – R150 per person can be bought through computicket.com or by dialling the Fugard Theatre’s box office on 021 461 4554. There are excellent discounts for learners, students and pensioners. Friends of the Fugard continue to receive great discounts on all Fugard Theatre productions. There is plenty of safe, secure parking across the road from the main entrance of the Fugard Theatre on Caledon Street.