n Shakespeare in Southern Africa - Coriolanus, Debbie Lütge : theatre review

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-582X



This production of was a stimulating, thought-provoking one. With a cast of black student actors, the play became an exploration of the theme of the hero-warrior set against the backdrop of Shakespeare's Rome. The parallels and differences between classical Rome, Shakespeare and contemporary Africa were explored in a way that was often imaginative and one was reminded that there are similarities between Coriolanus' scorn of the people and former president Thabo Mbeki's apparent reluctance to communicate with his own supporters - as the programme notes suggested. Director Debbie Lütge writes : "Ex President Thabo Mbeki's official biographer Mark Gevisser in his article, 'Where is Mbeki's world elsewhere?' (Mail & Guardian, 23 December 2008) quotes from , drawing an analogy between Coriolanus's dismissal of the plebeians and Mbeki's 'aloofness' at Polokwane. Ironically Gevisser claims the play as one of Thabo Mbeki's favorites."

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