South Africa, 1984 – the fourth decade of apartheid. Two opposing forces struggle for the soul of Thami, a young, brilliant black man. His teacher insists that education, even the inferior “Bantu” education he is forced to teach, is the way to liberation. But Thami has begun to listen to angrier voices… …
My Children! My Africa! confronts the tragedy of apartheid in Fugard’s native land. At its heart is the debate surrounding the burning desire for justice and change and the resulting reaction of anger and violence versus the rejection of polemics and the argument that education, restraint and the search for peaceful solutions may offer more lasting hope for the future.
Tony, Evening Standard and Writers’ Circle Award-winner Athol Fugard is one of the defining voices of South Africa during apartheid. He is best known for Master Harold and the Boys, Sizwe Bansi is Dead and The Road to Mecca. My Children! My Africa! was first staged in London at the National Theatre in 1990; this is its first professional production in London since.
Fugard himself has said of the play: “Should violence be met with violence? Or is there an alternative? The play is actually about my internal debate, at the end of which I found myself believing that putting words on paper is a valid form of action. You can throw stones, petrol bombs and molotov cocktails as hard as you like at those armoured cars, but you’re not going to do much damage. Words can do much, much more than that. Words can get inside those armoured cars. Words can get inside the heads of the people inside those armoured cars.”
Roger Mortimer studied theatre with Marina Carr and Tim Crouch at the Lir Academy, part of Trinity College Dublin, and elsewhere with Simon Stephens and David Eldridge. He has written several plays, which have won several competitions and been performed as far afield as Warsaw, Pittsburgh and Buenos Aires. He also studied directing with Anthony Clark at East 15, and directed his own first play, Why Don’t You Just Sing Jazz?, on the last night of the Grimeborn Festival of Alternative Opera at the Arcola Theatre in 2009 to great acclaim. He is the founder of Two Sheds Theatre Company, for which he also produces, and co-founder of opera company Opera in Colour. Last year his highly acclaimed production of Torben Betts’ Muswell Hill opened at The White Bear and has recently enjoyed a successful transfer to The Park Theatre in Finsbury Park
Deborah Edgington studied directing at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where she met Roger Mortimer. Her credits have included assistant director to Kirstie Davies, Lucy Phillps and David Haworth on the national tour of Battle Lines Trilogy: Call Up , Keep Smiling Through and In Our Name . She also directed the rehearsed readings of Memorial and Harry’s Seat at Salisbury Playhouse and the full production of Edward Bond’s Black Mass at The London Theatre for the Lewisham Fringe Festival. Last year Roger Mortimer invited her to join his newly formed Two Sheds Theatre and she has recently worked as co-director with him on their production of Muswell Hill.
Casting to be announced
Two Sheds Theatre presents
MY CHILDREN! MY AFRICA! By Athol Fugard
Directors – Roger Mortimer & Deborah Edgington
Set and costume designer – Nancy Surman
Lighting designer – Jack Weir
Sound designer – Erin Witton
28th April to 16th May
TRISTAN BATES THEATRE
1a Tower Street
London WC2H 9NP
Press Night 30 April 7.30pm
Tuesday to Saturday 7.30pm
Sunday matinees 3pm
Monday 23rd March 2015