The Island will open at Theatre 228 in Observatory tomorrow night, for a four-day run, and stars Luntu Masiza and SBAM actor Siya Mayola.
The critically celebrated play was written by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona in the 1970s and is based on Kani and Ntshona’s experience as prisoners at Robben Island during Apartheid. Kani and Ntshona play versions of themselves.
After its initial Cape Town run, the play transferred to the West End and then Broadway, where it was nominated for three Drama Desk Awards and three Tony Awards, winning one for Best Actor, shared between Kani and Ntshona, making it the only play using three official South African languages (English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa) to win a Tony.
A play within a play, The Island follows Kani and Ktshona, a pair of cellmates, as they plan a two-hander performance of Antigone for the other prisoners. Their story mirrors that of Antigone, highlighting themes of obedience versus civil disobedience, power relations, and tri-factor freedom (of body, mind, and conscience) within the context of the South African Apartheid.
Directed in under four weeks by South African theatre-maker Chris Weare (also the director of recent production of Buried Child, featuring SBAM actor, Matthew Roberts), the play is set to challenge audiences with questions about the human condition.
The book, phone 060 5286 450.