Press Release: The Shadow of the Hummingbird returns to the Fugard Theatre

August 7, 2014

Due to overwhelming demand the Fugard Theatre is proud to announce five additional performances of The Shadow of The Hummingbird, the beautiful play, presented by Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre, that stars Athol Fugard himself and introduces Marviantos Baker, from 27 to 30 August 2014. This will be the very final chance audiences will have to see this remarkable production. 


Following the season at PACOFS in Bloemfontein, the production will return to Cape Town to the Fugard’s Studio Theatre where it played to rave reviews and capacity houses after opening last month before transferring to the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. Both the Cape Town and Johannesburg seasons sold out well in advance of opening. 


In The Shadow of The Hummingbird, Fugard takes on the role of Oupa, a retired South African teacher living in self-imposed exile in Southern California, and is joined onstage by Baker, playing his grandson, Boba. During the course of one afternoon spent together, Oupa and Boba leap across a generational divide to teach and be taught, and to be reminded that the transient beauty of the world is seen too briefly through unassuming eyes. 


Inspired by Fugard’s relationship with his own grandson, Gavyn, this intimate play has deep autobiographical roots. The overlapping boundaries between autobiography and fictional storytelling are further explored in Paula Fourie’s moving introductory scene, which, with recourse to Fugard’s notebooks, places extracts from his personal observations of the past 50 years into his character, Oupa’s, mouth. “People have begun to ask in the past couple of years whether my storytelling has shifted from the political to the personal”, Fugard muses. “My answer has always been – once you reach 80, the time has arrived for a little bit of housecleaning. After all, as Oupa says at the start of the play, ‘The final landscape is within.’” Yet Fugard maintains that he has never been a political playwright: “All my plays tell South African stories about people in their specific time and place. That has not changed.” 


The artistic team includes Fourie (co-director), Mannie Manim (lighting), Saul Radomsky (sets & costume), James Webb (Sound) and Ben du Plessis (Animation)


The Shadow of The Hummingbird runs at the Fugard Studio Theatre from 27 to 30 August at 8pm with one matinee performance on the 27 August at 4pm. Tickets, ranging from R110 to R150, are now available via computicket or the Theatre’s box office on 021 461 4554. Advance booking is highly recommended.


Press release provided by Allison Foat.

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