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Glasshouse is a semi-autobiographical play by Fatima Dike about a white girl and a black girl who grow up in the same household but different worlds, examining the knots that entangle human relationships in South Africa.

Performance history in South Africa

Directed and lit by Brian Astbury at The Space (Cape Town) in 1979. The cast consisted of Fatima Dike and Leonie Hofmeyr. Design by Bee Berman, the stage management by Arthur Benjamin and Denise Newman.

It opened at La Mama Theatre in New York in the same year.

In 1995 Dike revised the play during her tenure as writer-in-residence at the Open University. According to Tamsen Wolff (Theatre Journal 49.1 (1997) 60-61) "The revised play jumps backward and forward in time, from the 1950s to the release of Nelson Mandela, following the lives of Phumla Hlophe, a black South African (played by Dike) and Linda Black, a white South African (played by Libby Anson). Phumla's mother and father work as the maid and chauffeur in the Black household, and the two girls are raised as sisters. They struggle variously with the whims and deaths of their parents, the student revolts in Soweto and Cape Town, and with each other." The production was directed by Fatima Dike and produced by Southern Arts, the Open University, the Arts Council, and MADCAP at the Open University, London on 30 August 1996.


Astbury 1979.

Wolff, 1997

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