Press: SA premiere of Rapp's acclaimed NOCTURNE

August 22, 2019

NOCTURNE, onstage at Alexander Upstairs from 10 to 21 September 2019, sees Francis Chouler taking on his first solo show, under the guidance of Emily Child who makes her directorial debut.


Adam Rapp’s NOCTURNE was first staged in 2001 at the New York Theatre Workshop. It was awarded the Boston’s Elliot Norton Award for Best New Script, as well as Best New Play by the Independent Reviewers of New England. The Annual Chronicle of U.S Theatre also listed it as one of the ten Best Plays of 2000-2001.


It tells the honest and unconventionally moving story of a man dealing with the effects of a life-altering incident:


Fifteen years ago, in Joliet, Illinois, a 17-year-old accidentally runs over and kills his 9-year-old sister with a ’69 Buick Electra, while driving home from his summer job. The event cracks his life wide open. As the unnamed narrator flees his childhood home to restart his life in a bookshop in New York City, he has nothing but old memories and new books with which to rebuild his world.

NOCTURNE is a clear, arresting recollection of love, hilarity and pain; a boldly inspiring reminder of what it is to be human.


Since graduating in 2010, Francis Chouler (Cardenio, Born in the RSA, Cock, Over There) has long dreamt of performing a one-man play. Nine years later, the perfect play found its way to him. With Rapp’s exquisite text in hand, Chouler knew he had to find the perfect director to cherish the play as much as he does.


On her first reading of the play, NOCTURNE immediately resonated with multiple Fleur du Cap award-winning performer Emily Child (Decadence, The Pervert Laura, The Father, Road to Mecca), who joins Chouler in bringing this brutal, compelling and beautiful text to stage with this, her directorial debut.

International praise for NOCTURNE:


“Rapp… is an ambitious and prodigiously talented writer” —Charles Isherwood, Variety.


“There is an undeniable, cumulative power to the writing here” —Bruce Weber, The New York Times.


“At once beautiful and haunting, compelling and agonising… a bold, elegant and even funny exploration of how a single moment as the power both to connect us and change our lives.” —Mark de la Vina, San Jose Mercury News.


This engaging solo drama will play at Alexander Upstairs (Alexander Bar, Café & Theatre) from 10 to 21 September 2019 at 7pm.


The South African premier of NOCTURNE is by arrangement with United Artists. Tickets are R140 per person, with a R20 discount for prepaid bookings. Tickets can be booked online at


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