Steve Biko: The Inquest

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Steve Biko: The Inquest is a play devised by Saira Essa and Charles Pillai (1954-2010)

Also found as Steve Biko - The Inquest

The original text

Due to a controversy over performance rights for Jon Blair and Norman Fenton's play The Biko Inquest, Saira Essa and Charles Pillai created their own adaptation of the script, based on Essa's own research and referring back to the original court transcripts and to amendments they had already made, resulting in the play Steve Biko: The Inquest (subtitled A documentary based on the inquest hearing into the death in detention of Steven Bantu Biko). It was published in Durban by Art Printers, [ca.]1985. (ISBN 9780620094832 - paperback).

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1985: First performed by the Upstairs Theatre Company, Durban, 1985, directed by Saira Essa, starring Charles Pillai, Kerneels Coertzen, Peter Holden, Willem Pretorius, Chris Steyn, Mike Huff, Michael Maxwell, Ralph Draper, Ronald France.

The production was also shown at the Prithvi Festival in Bombay in the same year.


Steve Biko: The Inquest programme notes.

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