The Fugard

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The Fugard is a theatre venue in Cape Town named in honour of South African playwright Athol Fugard

(Also referred to as The Fugard Theatre by some sources.)

The building

A National Heritage Site today, it is located in the historic Sacks Futeran building in Cape Town’s District Six, a former textile and soft goods supplier in the early twentieth century, frequented by generations of District Six seamstresses and tailors. This is owned by and forms part of the District Six Museum's Homecoming Centre and it has incorporated the renovated Congregational Church Hall in Caledon Street as its entrance.

Construction of The Fugard theatre was underwritten by its founding producer Eric Abraham, and is named in honour of Athol Fugard, South Africa's internationally renowned playwright and director. The architect was Shaun Adendorff of Rennie Scurr Adendorff, and care has been taken to preserve this National Heritage Site. Abraham continues to underwrite the operational costs of the venue.

Management

At the helm was South African born and UK based producer Eric Abraham, who heads up Portobello Pictures, an independent film, television and theatre production company with its head office in London. He became involved with theatre in Spouth Africa again through his collaborations with the Isango Portobello company, along with Mark Dornford-May en Pauline Malefane.

Mannie Manim joined The Fugard team on a full-time basis in January 2010 to work with Georgina Rae (General Manager), Shamila Rahim (theatre manager) and the company in developing The Fugard and the local and international profile of the Isango Portobello Company.

At the end of 2010 the relationship between Abraham and his partners in the Isango Portobello company deteriorated and the theatre manager and company company were evicted. In January 2011 Manim also retired and Daniel Galloway was appointed General Manager.

By 2015 the management team consisted of Eric Abraham (Founding and Executive Producer), Daniel Galloway (Executive Director), Stephen Sacks (Financial Director), Lamees Albertus (Theatre Manager and Associate Producer), Greg Karvellas (General Manager and Associate Producer), Ronel Botha (Financial Manager), Iris Bolton (Front of House Manager), Ingrid Stemmert (Box Office Manager) Benjamin du Plessis (Technical Manager), Roberto Grové (Production Manager), James Cooke (Graphic Designer), Elizabeth Ridgway (Office and Events Assistant) and Juanita van Wyk (Resident Stage Manager).

Venues

The Fugard Theatre

The main venue in the complex, the 335-seater Fugard Theatre is located within the historic Sacks Futeran building in Cape Town’s District Six, with the renovated Congregational Church Hall in Caledon Street as its entrance.

The Fugard Studio

A smaller rehearsal and performance space.

The Fugard Bioscope

In 2011 the main Fugard Theatre was fitted with state-of-the-art cinema equipment to transform the space into a fully functioning Bioscope (cinema) when required. Along with the annual World Cinema Season screenings and various in-house film festivals, the Fugard Bioscope is made available for corporate and private rental and has hosted several world premieres.

The Fugard Annexe

Opened in 2015 across the road from The Fugard , at 23 Harrington Street., this is intended as a multipurpose space suitable for corporate meetings and networking sessions, rehearsal space, film shoot base camps, studio space and pre show hospitality events.

Productions

Opened 12 February 2010 with Isango Portobello's The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo followed by an opening season of The Mysteries – Yiimimangaliso and a world premiere on March 19 of Athol Fugard’s new play, especially written for the opening, The Train Driver, directed by Athol Fugard. Other productions since include London Road (2010), Broken Glass (2011), The Blue Iris (by Athol Fugard, directed by Janice Honeyman 2012). The Shadow of the Hummingbird (Fugard Theatre, 2014), Cabaret (2015), West Side Story (in ArtsCape, 2015), Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act (The Fugard Studio, 2019)



South African premiéres of Fugard plays at the Fugard Theatre, include The Train Driver (2010), The Bird Watchers (2011), The Blue Iris (2012) and Die Laaste Karretjiegraf (2013), The Shadow of the Hummingbird (2014) and the World premiéres of the Afrikaans versions of Die Kaptein se Tier (2011) and Playland (2014),

Other facilities

The Fugard Theatre Newsletter

A regular newsletter sent out to regular patrons by e-mail.

E-mail address: The Fugard Theatre <newsletter@thefugard.com>

Sources

Mariana Malan, Die Burger, 23 November 2010),

Cape Argus (23 November 2010)

Artslink.co.za <news0115@artslink.co.za>

Personal communication from Claire Taylor, PR Liaison, The Fugard (19 May 2015).

The Fugard website at http://www.thefugard.com/

Isango Portobello website at http://www.portobellopictures.com/Isango-Portobello

The Fugard Newsletter, 8 August, 2019.

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