Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Robben Island comes to Richmond

Today was the first public reading of Matt's verbatim play, The Robben Island Bible at the Richmond theatre. It was wonderful, particularly as the ever gracious John Kani had cajoled two of the other actors from The Tempest company Atandwa and Omphile to take part.

We closed the department for the afternoon and the stalls were filled with students and other special guests from Richmond, the University and the anti-apartheid movement.

There was an incredible pre-show moment when Molly realised that 100 under twenty fives were sitting in the sunshine on the steps of the theatre, giving the place the feel of the Royal Court circa 1960 so she sent the in-house photographer out to capture the mood.

The show itself went well and the actors quickly relaxed into the script (they'd only had two hours rehearsal on Monday afternoon.) Afterwards John turned on the charm in an incredibly moving, politicised and exciting question and answer session that can have left no-one in the audience in any doubt of the the power that theatre has to communicate, keep ideals alive, provide metaphors for resistance and inspire great acts of courage and humanity.

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