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New Territories

Theatre, Drama, and Performance in Post-apartheid South Africa


Edited By Greg Homann and Marc Maufort

South African theatre, drama, and performance is a vibrant and rapidly developing area of contemporary theatre studies. In this critical anthology of essays and interviews, some of the world’s most respected scholars and practitioners writing and working in the area of South African theatre today share their detailed examinations and insights on the complex and contradictory context of post-apartheid society. Loosely grouped into the categories of Theatre, Drama, and Performance, the essays collected here offer a sampling of work being staged, produced, and written in the country today. The contributors document, contrast, and analyse significant case studies, representing examples from site-specific performance to new South African plays, from traditional indigenous performance practice to the reimagining of Western classics. The anthology takes the year of South Africa’s first democratic election, 1994, as its departure point and includes a broad range of topics that capture the current paradigm.
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“Moments of Discovery.” An Interview with James Ngcobo


← 362 | 363 → “Moments of Discovery”

An Interview with James Ngcobo

The Artistic Director of the Market Theatre Talks to Anne Fuchs and Geoffrey Davis in Toulouse, 8th June 20131

AF: What we would like to know about is how you got into theatre in the first place, how you started in Durban and what the various steps you took were before becoming director of the Market Theatre. I mean, you didn’t just say “I would like to be a theatre director” and it came about. I’m sure it entailed a lot of hard work.

JN: Yes, I never studied, but that has never been an impediment for me and also it doesn’t mean that I’m not trained. I finished my matric, grade 12. But when I was studying in grade 10, our set work was The Merchant of Venice. I had an amazing English teacher who used to make us read. At the time, I didn’t know anything about iambic pentameters, he just made us read Shakespeare. One day I was reading Lancelot Gobbo, the scene where his father is going to Shylock’s house – that beautiful scene – and I remember just reading it. Another book that we had at school was Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd…

GD: I always thought you read the same school books as we did in England!

JN: On the Zulu side I was reading extensively, and that I think was the...

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