Press Release: Death of a Colonialist at the Baxter (31 Jan - 22 Feb)

January 12, 2014

First chance for Cape Town to catch award-winning Death of a Colonialist For the first time, Cape Town audiences have the chance to see the multiple-award-winning Death of a Colonialist when the Baxter Theatre Centre presents the show in the Golden Arrow Studio. It will run from 31 January to 22 February.


Winner of three Naledi awards, and featuring a star-studded creative team, the production has received rapturous reviews and enjoyed two successful runs at the Market Theatre and one at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.


Written by Greg Latter (Forgiveness, Black Butterflies) and directed by Craig Freimond (Material, Jozi, Sorted), the play has a stellar cast: Jamie Bartlett (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Nothing for Mahala, Rhythm City), Nicholas Pauling (The Frontiersmen, Amadeus, Champ), Shirley Johnston (Felix, Heel Against the Head, Dancing at Lughnasa, Shadowlands) and Ashleigh Harvey (Sophiatown, Truth in Translation). The production received  Naledi awards in 2011 for Best Production, Best Director and Best Actor: Jamie Bartlett.


Praise it has garnered includes comments such as “uniformly superb ... justifies all the praise you could heap upon it” (Artslink); “move heaven and earth to see Death of A Colonialist” (Business Day) and “extraordinarily powerful ... riveting theatre” (Sunday Independent).


Death of a Colonialist tells the story of Harold Smith, an aging, eccentric, unpredictable but extremely passionate history teacher at a high school in Grahamstown. His passion is South African history, more specifically the history of the amaXhosa. Harold is at the end of his powers and his increasingly erratic teaching techniques are making the school’s hierarchy look for some new blood in the history department.


What Harold is not aware of is that his wife has terminal cancer and has decided not to tell him. His two children, who have moved overseas, decide to come home for an unconventional family reunion. 


Dealing with questions of identity, history and terminal illness, this is a funny, sad, profound and passionate play that weaves between the tragedy of our past and the challenges of our present. Ultimately, the play reinforces what it means to be South African.

“This promises to be a theatrical highlight of 2014 and we are delighted to be hosting the show’s first Cape Town run,” says Lara Foot, director and CEO of the Baxter Theatre Centre.

There is an age restriction of 13.


Death of a Colonialist will be performed from 31 January to 22 February, Monday to Saturday at 8.15 pm, in the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio, with a matinee on Saturday 8 February at 2 pm.


Tickets cost R110 for the matinee and the preview on 31 January.  Tickets to Monday performances cost R100, when patrons can enjoy a light meal in the Baxter restaurant included in their ticket price.  Tickets for performances from Tuesday to Thursday cost R120 and on Friday and Saturdays they cost R140.  Tickets for students, senior citizens and block bookings of ten or more are R100 (Tuesday to Thursday only).


Bookings can be made at Computicket 0861 915 8000, online at or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet countrywide.


For discounted block bookings (entire house), charities, schools, corporate bookings and fundraisers, contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or


Press release provided by Christine Skinner.

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