HOT off its premiere at the Royal Court in London and recent Market Theatre run, South African Mongiwekhaya’s latest play, I See You opens on Friday, May 6 at the Fugard Studio Theatre and runs until May 28.
Presented by Eric Abraham and The Fugard Theatre, this 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.
Set in post-Aparthed South Africa, the story centres on Ben, who 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.
He tells Ben: “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.”
I See You features popular actor and singer Desmond Dube (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency; Hotel Rwanda; Dube on Mondays), in the role of 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 (SizweBanzi 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 the movement director, Zabarjad Salam is the voice and dialect coach and assistant direction is by John Haidar.
I See You 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.
Mongiwekhaya is a Residential Fellow in Theatre at the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape; and a member of PlayRiot, a collective of South African playwrights committed to telling bold, contemporary South African stories
Show times are 8 pm from Tuesday to Friday and 4 pm and 8 pm on Saturday. Tickets are R150 to R170 at 021 461 4554. Please note: This production is not available to viewers aged 14 and younger. No entry after start of production.