Eric Abraham presents this Fugard Theatre production in honour of this iconic playwright’s 85th year. The play will open at the Fugard Theatre on March 27, on World Theatre Day, and run for a limited season.
Sandra Prinsloo is Miss Helen, Marius Weyers is Rev. Marius Byleveld and Emily Child will be playing Elsa Barlow in the production.
Direction is by the Fugard Theatre’s Resident Director Greg Karvellas (The Fugard’s ‘Shakespeare in Love’, ‘Bad Jews’).
Inspired by Helen Martins, who lived in Nieu-Bethesda and created the now-famous The Owl House – which is designated a provincial heritage site – ‘The Road to Mecca’ is the story of a woman’s desire for personal and artistic freedom within the narrow confines of a conservative and highly religious community in the Karoo in early seventies apartheid South Africa.
Fugard wrote this play in 1984, creating the lead role of Miss Helen for the late South African theatre star Yvonne Bryceland.
Legendary theatre critic Frank Rich writing in The New York Times about ‘The Road to Mecca’, commented “Road to Mecca examines the core of artistry… Artists are driven to forge their version of the truth even when they have no hope of an audience, even when they must work with the most humble of materials in the middle of nowhere. Artists are dangerous because they won’t deviate from that truth, no matter what pressure to conform is applied by the society around them, reminding us that the artistic conscience is inseparable from the moral conscience.”
Time Magazine regards Fugard as “the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world”.
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. 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.
* Tickets cost from R130 to R230.
Bookings can be made through Computicket, or via the Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554.