The original text
The idea for the documentary style play came from a writing project undertaken by Nicky Rebelo while a student at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1981, for which he made tape recordings of conversations with the down-and-outs of Joubert Park in Johannesburg and edited them into a text.
Rebelo's text formed the basis of the Outers project undertaken by Barney Simon at the Market Theatre in 1985. Simon gathered a select cast of seven talented performers to participate in the workshop process, during which they were sent into parks, streets and work-places of Johannesburg, "in character", to hunt for jobs, food, cigarettes, handouts and thus gaining a wealth of new and topical material as well as invaluable empathy for the people they moved among.
This initial research period was followed by a workshop process of five weeks under the direction of Barney Simon, in order to process the material and shape a performance text.
According to the programme notes for the original production, "Outers embodies Simon's credo as Artistic Director of the Market Theatre: 'to reflect our lives... to attempt a theatre that is alive to all dramatic possibilities that surround us - not only the obvious news stories, but the faces, the biographies, the vernaculars... that reach even to our doorsteps... to attempt a theatre that entertains and informs".
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
1985: Performed at the Market Theatre in March. Directed by Barney Simon with Nicky Rebelo (Klerks), Marius Weyers (Hennie), Gys de Villiers (Bles), Marié Human (Charmaine), Lida Meiring (Auntie Gwen), Marcel van Heerden (Boytie), James Whyle (Richard). Designed by Anita Berman. Lighting design by Mannie Manim.
Outers programme notes in 1985.
Photographs of the cast held by NELM: [Collection: SIMON, Barney]: 1995. 11. 13. 4. 13.
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