Outers

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Outers is a workshopped play by Barney Simon (1932-1995), Nicky Rebelo (1958-) and Cast.

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".

The original script is held by NELM in the Barney Simon collection (1995. 11. 5. 7. 1.) and was published in Born in the RSA: Four Workshopped Plays by Wits University Press in 1997.

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.

Sources

Outers programme notes in 1985.

Barry Hough. 1985. "Simon kry groot name vir drama", Beeld (Kalender, p.1) 10 January, 1985.

Photographs of the cast held by NELM: [Collection: SIMON, Barney]: 1995. 11. 13. 4. 13.

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