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 runs 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 the Truth Commission; The Feather Collector), the play marks the directorial debut of Olivier award winner Noma Dumezweni, 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:
- Desmond Dube (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency; Hotel Rwanda) as Buthelezi;
- Bayo Gbadamosi (Little Revolution; Mad about the Boy) as Ben;
- Jordan Baker (Eastenders) as Skinn;
- Lunga Radebe (Antigone: In The World; Touch my Blood) as Shabangu;
- Austin Hardiman (Wish; The First Man) as James; and
- Sibusiso Mamba (Sizwe Banzi 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. Luyanda Sidiya is Movement Director, Zabarjad Salam is Voice and Dialect Coach and Assistant Direction is by John Haidar.
I See You (English) / Ngiyakubona (Zulu) / Ek Sien Jou (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.”
“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. 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 Noma Dumezweni’s directorial debut” – Eric Abraham, Founding Producer and Owner of the Fugard Theatre.
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).
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.