Saturday Night at the Palace

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Saturday Night at the Palace [1] is a 1982 play by Paul Slabolepszy [2]. A play about two white working-class young men – Vince and Forsie - who arrive at a lonely suburban roadhouse. Vince, embittered with his life, attacks his friend, then turns on, abuses and finally kills the black roadhouse attendant. Published by Ad Donker Publishers in 1985.

The play won numerous acting and other awards, including the Amstel Playwright of the Year Award in 1981, and launched the career of Slabolepszy as one of the strongest voices in local theatre during the 1970s and 1980s.

Translations and adaptations

A film version was made by Robert Davies and shown at the Montreal Film Festival in 1987.

Performance history in South Africa

1982-1983: Reshaped in rehearsal by director Bobby Heaney, first performed with Paul Slabolepszy, Bill Flynn and Fats Dibeco, at the Market Theatre in 1982 and the Baxter Theatre in 1983. The play was an enormous hit and toured the country. Designed by Norman Coates.

1984: Mannie Manim visited London with the play in 1984.

2004: Staged in January 2004 at the Baxter Theatre, produced by Mannie Manim and Bobby Heaney and directed by Heaney, with Neil Sandilands (Vince), Grant Swanby (Forcie) and Sizwe Msutu (September). Design by Norman Coates and lighting by Manim.


Market Theatre production (1982) programme donated by Tony Fletcher, held by NELM: [Collection: FLETCHER, Jill]: 2005. 75. 19. 9.

Market Theatre programme notes

The Cape Times, 14 January 2004.

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