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‘Blacks of Cape Town’ from Page to Stage

After successful runs at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, 969 Festival and POPart theatre in Joburg, ‘Black’ comes home to Cape Town, 11-17 December 2017, at Alexander Upstairs as part of their PopUpstairs Theatre Season.

     Based on CA Davids’ novel The Blacks of Cape Town, award-winning writer/director Penny Youngleson has written an adaptation for stage which intricately balances the poetry and pain of discovery, of unpacking history and the drama of family politics. In the officious letter from the SA government, Zara learns that documents once sealed and implicating her father in an act which was committed against the anti-apartheid movement decades earlier, will soon be released to the public. The letter becomes the start of a journey into Zara’s past. The narrative shifts between past and present – from New Jersey where Zara finds herself alone and displaced, to South Africa of the past and present. Her task is great, as she grapples with constructing a history for herself and her family from between fragmented recollections and family lore.
     Accomplished actress Ameera Patel (Naledi Theatre Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Scorched) tackles this one-hander, under the directorial hand of native Capetonian Jade Bowers (2016 Standard Bank Young Artist, Naledi Theatre Awards Best Director for Scorched), with musical composition by Daniel Geddes. Bowers says “we are honoured to be able bring our version of The Blacks of Cape Town to Cape Town audiences”, noting the privilege and responsibility of bringing history to life, particularly in the context of an audience whose stories feature, and especially when it’s seldom that those stories find place in the mainstream spaces.
     POPUpstairs is partnership between POPArt and The Alexander Bar aimed at facilitating the touring and exchange of awesome productions between Joburg and Cape Town. Tickets for ‘Black’ are R100 at the door or R90 online. To book or for more information, visit

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