No-Good Friday

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No-Good Friday is a play by Athol Fugard (1932-).

The original text

Written by Fugard on the basis of a workshop in rehearsal space provided by Union Artists, with the help of Lewis Nkosi, Bloke Modisane, Nat Nakasa, Sheila Fugard and the performers, it takes a look at the deprivations, violence and problems of township life governed by tsotsi gangs, it was first performed at the Bantu Men's Social Centre (BMSC), Johannesburg on 30 August 1958.

The play had its first performance outside South Africa in 1974 at the Crucible Studio, Sheffield, England.

First published in 1958??*. Included in a variety of play collections over the years, including Dimetos and Two Early Plays (Oxford University Press, 1977).

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1958: First performed at the Bantu Men's Social Centre (BMSC), Johannesburg on 30 August 1958 in conjunction with the Union of South African Artists, with “Hal Lannigan” (Fugard) as “Father Higgins” together with the black cast – Bloke Modisane, Dan Poho, Steve Moloi, Ken Gampu, Gladys Sibisa, Corney Mabaso, Sol Rachilo and Zakes Mokae, followed by four nights at the Brian Brooke Theatre in the same city that year for a ‘whites only’ run (when Lewis Nkosi took over the role, to make it an all-black cast according to the laws of the time).

1958: Presented by the Benedicta Bonaccorsi Theatre Studio in aid of African Children's Feeding Scheme 17 September 1958.

1970: Directed by Corney Mabaso for the Phoenix Players at the Mofolo Hall from 14 to 16 May, 1970, with a preview at the Bantu Men's Social Centre. Cast: Stephen Moloi, Cocky "Two Bull" Tlhotlhalemaje, Ken Gampu, Abigail Kubeka, Dan Poho, David Phetoe, Morrison Gampu.

1988: Produced by Professor Ian Steadman of the Wits School of Dramatic Art at the 1988 Grahamstown Festival Fringe. This production was one of three finalists for the Pick of the Fringe Award that year.

1989: Directed at the UCT Arena Theatre, Cape Town, by Liz Mills for the University of Cape Town Drama Department from 5 to 20 May 1989. The cast: Motshabi Tyelele, Linda L. Mpho, Christopher Gxalaba, Thembile Pepeteka, Neil Cave, Stephen Ntsane, Goodwill Mokoena, Pogiso Mogwera, Nkosinathi Gqotso, Mongezi Tom, Xola Luse. Music by Bella Jardim, voice coach Natalia Baker. Stage manager Nicola du Plessis, set design Liz Mills, lighting design Paul Abrams.

2014: Presented at Wits University’s Downstairs Theatre by the Wits School of the Arts, directed by Samuel Ravengai, set design by Andrea Van Der Kuil, with Nolo Mmeti (Willie), Bradley Cebekhulu (Tobias), Malebogo Mqoboli (Harry), Themba Twala and Malebogo Mqoboli (mobsters), Duane Behrens, Kelly Eksteen, Jovan Muthray, Bongiwe Mazibuko, Ivan Andre, Fumani Shongwe, Sasha Lee Kelly.

Performances abroad

1974: Performed at the Crucible Studio, Sheffield, England.



Theatre programme (Bonaccorsi production 1958) held by NELM: [Collection: FUGARD, Athol]: 2012. 390. 4. 6.

Cue, 2(10). 10 July 1988.

No-Good Friday theatre progrmme, 1989.

Tucker, 1997. 118-119.

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