Paradise is Closing Down

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Paradise is Closing Down is a play by Pieter-Dirk Uys about life in Long Street, Cape Town.

The original text

First produced in 1977 at the Grahamstown Festival.

First published in Theatre One, edited by Stephen Gray, 1978. Also published in Paradise is Closing Down & other Plays by Penguin.

Translations and adaptations

1980 Granada TV: Estelle Kohler, Naomi Buch, Shelley Borkum – dir: Howard Baker.

Performance history in South Africa

1977: First presented by the Syrkel Theatre Company on 6 July 1977 at the Grahamstown Festival and on tour with Val de Klerk, Melanie-Ann Sher, Christine Basson and William Meyer. Directed by Pieter-Dirk Uys.

1978: In July 1978 it was staged at the Market Theatre with Val de Klerk, Melanie-Ann Sher, Magda Beukes and William Meyer. Directed by Pieter-Dirk Uys.

1978: Edinburgh Festival and London: Naomi Buch, Barbara Kinghorn, Helen Bourne, Frank Williams, directed by Roberta Durrant, a Company of Four production at the Young Vic Studio in London, from 12-15, 19-22 and 26-30 September [1978?].

1988: A revised version of the play was produced by Murray McGibbon for the Loft Company at the Loft Theatre, starring Debbie Lütge (Mollie), Diane Weston (Mouse), Petal McNamee, Anthony Stevens (Carlo).

1992: A reworking of the play was staged at the Wits Theatre, directed by Lynne Maree. In an intriguing gender shift, two of the women were rewritten as gay men, played by the author and Chris Galloway.

1995: Staged, together with God’s Forgotten and Karnaval ("The Cape Town Trilogy"), in July 1995 by the newly formed A Company of Actors in the Dock Road Theatre and in August 1995 in the Youth Theatre at the Civic Theatre, directed by Mark Graham, with Lynne Maree, Theresa van As, Shaun Arnolds and Lynita Crofford.


A proof copy of the play script with last minute cuts and a programme for the Company of Four production directed by Roberta Durrant, c. 1978 held by NELM: [Collection: UYS, Pieter-Dirk]: 1982. 3. 17.

The Natal Mercury, 16 November 1988.

Tucker, 1997. 363, 515.

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