A Lesson from Aloes

Jump to navigation Jump to search

A Lesson from Aloes is a 1978 three-hander play by Athol Fugard.

The original text

A play about loyalty and betrayal in the struggle against apartheid. The action of the play takes place in 1961 in the backyard of a small house in Algoa Park, Port Elizabeth. First performed in 1979 and first published by Oxford University Press, 1981.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1978: First performed by The Company on 30 November 1978 in the Market Theatre, directed by the playwright, with Marius Weyers (Piet Bezuidenhout), Shelagh Holliday (Gladys Bezuidenhout) and Fugard (Steve Daniels).

1979: Produced by the Market Theatre, directed by the playwright, and featuring Marius Weyers, Bill Curry and Shelagh Holliday. Performed in the Concert Hall, Baxter Theatre. Designed by Malcolm Payne, lighting design by Mannie Manim.

1983: Staged by PACOFS, directed by Cobus Rossouw starring Sandra Kotzé and Schalk Jacobsz.

Production history abroad

1984: UK premiere at the National Theatre, London, directed by Athol Fugard The production won rave reviews

2019: Produced in London by A Million Freds Productions from 27 February - 27 March, in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre, London, and by arrangement with Samuel French. Directed by Janet Suzman with Dawid Minnaar as Piet, David Rubin as Steve and Janine Ulfane as Gladys, with set and costumes by Norman Coates and lighting by Mannie Manim. This is the first production of the play in London since its UK premiere at the National Theatre 35 years ago where it was directed by Athol Fugard himself and won rave reviews, this new production directed by Janet Suzman marks the 25th anniversary year of the first free and democratic elections in South Africa.


The Company theatre programme, 1978.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

PACOFS Drama 25 Years, 1963-1988



Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page