Auditioning Angels

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Auditioning Angels is a play by Pieter-Dirk Uys (1945-).

The original text

Written in 2003, it was his first scripted play since 1991.


When a liberal white middle-class single mother’s eight-year-old daughter is raped by their gardener who is HIV positive, she takes the child to a hospital to be treated and tested. She believes so passionately in the promise of the new South Africa that she takes her daughter to a government hospital rather than a private one. She is joined there by her father, an ANC struggle veteran who now lives comfortably in Britain and her brother who fought for the apartheid regime in Angola and is now planning to emigrate to Australia. The vast hospital is chaotic, dysfunctional, poorly equipped, understocked and understaffed, but the family are reassured by a pragmatic, saintly black nurse whose matronly calling it is to nurture, comfort and care for a ward full of abandoned and mostly dying AIDS babies.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history

In South Africa

2003: Premièred at the Grahamstown Festival on 27 June 2003, produced by Pieter Toerien Productions and directed by Blaise Koch, with Thoko Ntshinga, Jo da Silva, Nandi Nyembe, Paul du Toit, and Clive Scott.

2003: This production opened the new Pieter Toerien's Studio at Montecasino, Johannesburg, in July 2003 and moved to the Theatre on the Bay in Cape Town in August.

Outside of South Africa

2007: Staged at the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club (La MaMa E.T.C.) [1], New York City, in October 2007, directed by George Ferencz, with Jenne Vath, Peter McCabe, Sheila Dabney, Sonja Perryman and Will Rhys.


The Star, 1 & 3 July 2003.

Business Day, 2 & 11 July 2003.

The Citizen, 3 & 14 July 2003.

Sunday Independent, 13 July 2003.

The Cape Times, 19 August 2003.

Johann van Heerden, 2008. Theatre in a new democracy. Some major trends in South African theatre from 1994 to 2003, Unpublished D.Phil thesis, University of Stellenbosch: p 187.[2].

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