n Shakespeare in Southern Africa - Doing Shakespeare, doing violence
Shakespeare's R&J, Fred Abrahamse (Dir.) : essays and reviews

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-582X



An actor in a school blazer jumps to attention: "One should particularly note the difference in character between the sexes, a difference so great one might suppose them members of two different races!" Another leaps up to continue the lesson about "woman who preserves the order and decency of the society" [sic] and without whom, "men soon resume the savage state and the comforts of the home are exchanged for the misery of the mining camp!" (Calarco 9). Watching staged by Fred Abrahamse, one might think that New Yorker Joe Calarco's 1997 hit adaptation of , which has been performed in the USA, the UK, Australia, the Netherlands and Japan since its hugely successful year-long run off-Broadway, had been specially adapted for audiences at the Fugard theatre, a reclaimed performance space shared with Cape Town's District Six Museum and strongly associated with forced removals under Apartheid.

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