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The Laager was a small theatre space in the Market Theatre, opened in August 1978, in the venue formally known as the Market Café, by Pieter-Dirk Uys. The concept was for a café-theatre in the continental style. The first production in The Laager moved in on the 21st of September 1978. It was Pieter-Dirk Uys’s spectacularly popular satirical melodrama Die Van Aardes van Grootoor. See also The Market Theatre. The Laager: A third theatre opened at the Market called The Laager circa 1978. Pieter-Dirk Uys was the artistic director of the theatre upon opening. His Die Van Aardes van Grootoor directed by Dawie Malan and starring Uys, Magda Beukes, Johan Botha, Lida Botha, Antoinette Kellermann, Nomsa Nene and Rina Nienaber was the opening production in September 1978. The Pieter-Dirk Uys play Info Scandals directed by Dawie Malan was staged here in 1979. Mario Schiess translated (from Kafka’s German) and directed Report to the Academy starring Marius Weyers which played here in 1979. Harvey Fierstein’s International Stud, later part of the Torch Song Trilogy performed by The Company in 1984, was staged here in 1979. Israel Horowitz’s The Indian Wants the Bronx starring Bill Curry, Michael Richard and Jonathan Rands and directed by Bobby Heaney in 1980. Robert Kirby wrote, directed, and co-starred (with Terry Lester) in Separate Development in 1980. Pieter-Dirk Uys, Tessa Uys and Thoko Ntshinga starred in Uyscreams with Hot Chocolate Sauce in 1980. Henry Rootenberg’s Zeyda was staged here starring Nicholas Ellenbogen, Molly Seftel and Frantz Dobrowsky in 1981. Athol Fugard’s Nongogo with Thoko Ntshinga was staged here in 1981. Woza Albert! developed by Mbongeni Ngema and Percy Mtwa under Barney Simon’s direction was staged here in 1981. Colin Higgins’ Harold and Maude starring Ruth Oppenheim and Jeremy Bonell and directed by Tammy Garner was staged here in 1982. Janice Honeyman directed Danny Keogh and Vanessa Cooke in a play they had written called This is for Keeps in May 1983 before playing at Upstairs in August. Stephen Gray’s Schreiner starring Elize Cawood and directed by Lucille Gillwald was staged here in August 1983. Barney Simon’s production of Marsha Norman’s 'night, Mother starring Janice Honeyman and Julie Follansbee was staged here in September 1983. Mbongeni Ngema’s Asinamali which was also directed by Ngema was staged here in May 1985 before going on a world tour and returning to the Market in December that same year. Percy Mtwa wrote and directed Bopha which was a Market and Earth Players collaboration in 1985. Saira Essa directed The Biko Inquest which was created by John Blair and Norman Fenton in 1985. Peter Se-Puma’s Hamba Dompas was directed by Nomsa Nene with the author and John Ledwaba here in January 1986. Gcina Mhlope’s Have You Seen Zandile? starring Gcina and Thembi Mtshali and directed by Maralin Vanrenen was staged here in February 1986. Lucille Gillwald’s production of John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea was staged here in 1986. Mark Banks starred in We’re Not on Top… We’re Inside in January 1987. James Mthoba’s Mehlondini was staged here in 1987. Pieter-Dirk Uys’ Just Like Home was the opening production of the newly refurbished Laager in 1989. Andrew Buckland directed Soli Philander in Soli’s Take Two here in 1991. Paul Slabolepszy’s The Return of Elvis du Pisanie was staged here in 1992. Paul Slabolepszy’s Mooi Street Moves was staged here in 1992. Jean Genet’s The Maids was staged here in 1993. Steven Berkoff’s Decadence was staged here in 1993. Susan Pam-Grant and D.J. Grant’s Take the Floor was staged here in 1994. ****


Percy Tucker, 1997;

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