An "alternative" theatre space created by writer/director Barney Simon and producer/administrator Mannie Manim in 1976, long termed South Africa's unofficial "National Theatre" because of its pivotal role in the cultural politics of the Struggle years (1976-1994).
- 1 STILL TO BE SUBSTANTIALLY EDITED
- 2 Origins
- 3 Management
- 4 Structure
- 5 The Market Theatre Laboratory
- 6 Productions
- 7 Sources
- 8 Return to
STILL TO BE SUBSTANTIALLY EDITED
An “alternative” theatre space created by writer/director Barney Simon and producer/administrator Mannie Manim, both of whom had had wide experience of theatre before forming The Company -an independent company committed to non-racial theatre - in 1974. The wanted to use it as a home base for their own work, but gradually the theatre developed into South Africa’s most renowned theatre space, unofficially considered the country’s “national theatre” in the 1980s and early 1990s. Looking for this home, they were led to the site of the former "Indian" produce market in Johannesburg's vibrant inner-city suburb of Newtown and eventually named the theatre complex after that former enterprise on the site.
The building was converted and turned into a complex consisting of four theatres and two galleries - one for graphic arts, one for photographs. Both the conversion and the subsequent running of the complex were funded entirely by donations from the private sector. It was opened in 1976, operating as an independent, non-racial theatre during the country’s apartheid regime. It is named for the site on which it stands, which was originally a produce market, also known as the Old Indian Market or the Newtown Market, which closed after 60 years of trade and relocated to another part of the city.
Like the Space Theatre, it defied the Group Areas Act, which restricted theatres in "white" areas to whites only - both as audience and as actors. From the start the trustees of the Market Theatre Trust opened the stages and the auditoria to all who wished to come there, regardless of race.
It was not until the 1990s, with the demise of the apartheid regime, that the Market Theatre would formally receive state funding.
See The Company
It happened that the old produce market, also known as the "Old Indian Market" or the "Newtown Market", which had been opened in 1913, had finally closed after 60 years of trade and been relocated to another part of the city.
The Company, looking for a home, put in a bid, along with many other individuals and companies (including Schalk Jacobsz, Des and Dawn Lindbergh, and **) for the front section the old Johannesburg Indian fruit market in Newtown. They eventually won the tender in 1974 and began converting it.
The Market Theatre became the ‘home’ of The Company and on the 4th of January 1976 a fund raising production was put on which consisted of a compilation of readings by well known performers such as Janet Suzman, Michael McCabe and Ron Smerczak, with music by Keith Blundell. Danny Keogh was the stage manager for the production.
The building of the theatre was done by Ozz Construction, from architectural designs by Rodney Grosskopff. It initially consisted of two stages, the Market Main Theatre (the circular old sales hall) and what was to be called Upstairs Theatre. Later the Market Café was opened (it later became The Laager), followed by other spaces such as ** and the Rehearsal Room.
In 2013 a major revamp was undertaken, with capital funding from the Department of Arts and Culture, to enlarge capacity and make it more comfortable. However, because the building is a protected Heritage Site within Johannesburg's culturally important Newtown Precinct, the overhaul could not change any structural features.
The Main Theatre
The Theatre Upstairs
Also known as Upstairs at the Market, this venue is a smaller space in the Market Theatre building, used for more intimate plays and performances.
It has also been referred to as Opstêrs by die Markteater in Afrikaans by the ever controversial Schalk Jacobsz, who performed there a number of times.
Market Theatre Bookshop
Market Theatre Café
Also known as the Market Café, this was a minute, eccentric and airless entertainment venue within the Market Theatre, which existed from 1 August 1976 to 17 July 1978. The concept was for a café-theatre in the continental style and it epitomised much of what the Market Theatre was striving to be. Initially run by Dave Marks and Fran Marks, it officially opened on the first of August 1976 with Alan Kwela. Later Marks added a small recording studio to the venue under the label of Third Ear Music. Due to financial problems the Market Café was shut down on 17 July 1978.
Significant performances there include Pieter-Dirk Uys’s Adapt or Dye (1981) and Hennie Aucamp’s Afrikaans cabaret Met Permissie Gesê (1981). *
It closed in 198*, ** replaced by *** and later in the 1990s?* became Gramadoelas, an unpmarket restaurant run by Eduan Naude.
A small space in the Market Theatre, that opened in 1978 with Die Van Aardes van Grootoor by Pieter-Dirk Uys, who was also the artistic director of the theatre upon opening.
His Die Van Aardes van Grootoor directed by Dawie Malan and starring Uys, Magda Beukes, Johan Botha, Lida Botha, Antoinette Kellermann, Nomsa Nene and Rina Nienaber was the opening production in September 1978. The Pieter-Dirk Uys play Info Scandals directed by Dawie Malan was staged here in 1979. Mario Schiess translated (from Kafka’s German) and directed Report to the Academy starring Marius Weyers which played here in 1979. Harvey Fierstein’s International Stud, later part of the Torch Song Trilogy performed by The Company in 1984, was staged here in 1979. Israel Horowitz’s The Indian Wants the Bronx starring Bill Curry, Michael Richard and Jonathan Rands and directed by Bobby Heaney in 1980. Robert Kirby wrote, directed, and co-starred (with Terry Lester) in Separate Development in 1980. Pieter-Dirk Uys, Tessa Uys and Thoko Ntshinga starred in Uyscreams with Hot Chocolate Sauce in 1980. Henry Rootenberg’s Zeyda was staged here starring Nicholas Ellenbogen, Molly Seftel and Frantz Dobrowsky in 1981. Athol Fugard’s Nongogo with Thoko Ntshinga was staged here in 1981. Woza Albert! developed by Mbongeni Ngema and Percy Mtwa under Barney Simon’s direction was staged here in 1981. Colin Higgins’ Harold and Maude starring Ruth Oppenheim and Jeremy Bonell and directed by Tammy Garner was staged here in 1982. Janice Honeyman directed Danny Keogh and Vanessa Cooke in a play they had written called This is for Keeps in May 1983 before playing at Upstairs in August. Stephen Gray’s Schreiner starring Elize Cawood and directed by Lucille Gillwald was staged here in August 1983. Barney Simon’s production of Marsha Norman’s 'night, Mother starring Janice Honeyman and Julie Follansbee was staged here in September 1983. Mbongeni Ngema’s Asinamali which was also directed by Ngema was staged here in May 1985 before going on a world tour and returning to the Market in December that same year. Percy Mtwa wrote and directed Bopha which was a Market and Earth Players collaboration in 1985. Saira Essa directed The Biko Inquest which was created by John Blair and Norman Fenton in 1985. Peter Se-Puma’s Hamba Dompas was directed by Nomsa Nene with the author and John Ledwaba here in January 1986. Gcina Mhlope’s Have You Seen Zandile? starring Gcina and Thembi Mtshali and directed by Maralin Vanrenen was staged here in February 1986. Lucille Gillwald’s production of John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea was staged here in 1986. Mark Banks starred in We’re Not on Top… We’re Inside in January 1987. James Mthoba’s Mehlondini was staged here in 1987. Pieter-Dirk Uys’ Just Like Home was the opening production of the newly refurbished Laager in 1989. Andrew Buckland directed Soli Philander in Soli’s Take Two here in 1991. Paul Slabolepszy’s The Return of Elvis du Pisanie was staged here in 1992. Paul Slabolepszy’s Mooi Street Moves was staged here in 1992. Jean Genet’s The Maids was staged here in 1993. Steven Berkoff’s Decadence was staged here in 1993. Susan Pam-Grant and D.J. Grant’s Take the Floor was staged here in 1994. **** .
The Rehearsal Room
The Market Theatre Laboratory
Also known as The Lab or the Market Theatre Lab.
Originally founded in 1989 as a training facility attached to the Market Theatre with money from the Rockefeller Foundation. John Kani and Barney Simon were the founding directors and Mark Fleishman was the first administrator. Gradually the success of the Drama School led to other programmes initiated by the Laboratory. It also received substantial funding later from SIDA through the Stockholms Statsteater.
Other administrators have been Tale Motsepe and Vanessa Cooke,
Today the Market Theatre Laboratory is based in The Bus Factory – 3 Helen Joseph Street, Newtown.
The Market Theatre Laboratory Drama School
The school offered an intensive practical two year course in basic theatre and performance skills for marginalised aspirant actors.
The school used professional theatre practitioners as tutors as they would impart not only the theoretical background but also give of their practical work experience. It soon became a platform for young artists to meet, interact, engage and discuss issues affecting the arts industry and creative processes.
The school was renamed the Ramolao Makhene Drama School after the passing of the renowned actor, though the title does not seem to be used much. Their theatre, the Ramolao Makhene Theatre, was also named after him.
The National Fieldwork Programme
This programme has worked with hundreds of community groups over the years and its success is evident in the annual Community Theatre Festivals and Zwakala Festivals.
The Writing Programme
With the assistance of Zakes Mda the lab started a writing workshop, which led to the development of a number of new South African plays.
Fieldworkers Festival or Market Laboratory Community Theatre Festival
The project was started to prepare and present the work of 50 community theatre groups and present a showcase of these in a semi-professional setting. The second co-ordinator Tale Motsepe initiated the Community Theatre Festival (known then as the Fieldworkers Festival). This festival became an annual event with groups coming from all the provinces.
The Zwakala Festival
The first formal production was on 21 June 1976 (The Seagull by Chekhov, directed by Barney Simon in the Upstairs Theatre) while October 19th 1976 saw the opening of the the complex’s main theatre and the official opening of The Market Theatre with Peter Weiss’s The persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as performed by the inmates of the asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade (usually referred to simply as the the Marat/Sade), also directed by Barney Simon. This play sparked off the first of many controversies for which The Market Theatre became renowned over the years. The theatre would also become a ‘Community Arts Centre’ with art exhibitions, photographic displays and training in aspects of theatre craft in its Market Theatre Gallery. For a while the centre baosted an exciting bookshop and an upmarket restaurant and cabaret venue as well. The Market, its passages and especially its pub became a multiracial neutral area in the midst of Apartheid South Africa, while other artists and arts associations also moved into the area. Gradually the precinct around it was also developed, so that by the late 1990s it included the Museum Africa exhibition rooms, Kippie's Jazz Club, the restaurants Gramadoelas and Kofifi, plus the Electric Workshop, where the 1997 Arts Biennale was held, the offices of the Film Resource Unit, the Dance Factory and the Bag Factory artists studios. * It quickly forged links with other alternative companies and theatres, such as the Space Theatre (from which it drew many of its ideas and artists) and the Baxter Theatre, exchanging productions with them. Besides productions by The Company, the venue also hosted the work of companies from the townships and elsewhere, some becoming regular performers there. These include the Earth Players, Bahumutsi Players, ** In this way it became the most prominent of the alternative political theatres by the end of the 1970s , often referred to as “South Africa’s national theatre” (see for example Graver and Kruger, 1989). In 1989*? Mannie Manim left to head the Wits Theatre and run his own company Mannie Manim Productions. *** took over as chief adminstrative officer and John Kani as chairman of the board. Over the years In 1989 it also opened the Market Theatre Laboratory (also the Market Lab or simply The Lab) with sponsorship from inter alia the Rockefeller Foundation. Founded by Barney Simon, John Kani and Vanessa Cooke, and directed by Cooke, The Lab aimed to train both performer and community theatre practitioners. Unfortunately, the city centre had also become depopulated and the Market Theatre a dangerious place, which affected attendance. However it has gone on, and in 200* Malcolm Purkey was appointed director**. Productions by and from the Market Theatre have raked in awards all over the world, including Tony Awards, Laurence Olivier Awards, **, and so on. In 1990 the Market Theatre building was declared a national monument and in 1995 the theatre was awarded the prestigious Jujamcyn Award. s** Market Theatre:Theatre in Johannesburg. It was housed in the old Indian Fruit Market on the corner of Bree and Wolhuter Streets. The premises was awarded to The Company in April 1975. Pleasure and Repentance, a fund-raising show, was staged here in a back room of the unfinished theatre on 4 January 1976. Barney Simon directed and the cast comprised Michael McCabe, Ron Smerczak, Keith Blundell and Janet Suzman P.P.B Breytenbach was a founder trustee. Lucille Gillwald played an instrumental role in the operation of the Market. The official opening of the theatre main house was on 19 October 1976 with The Company’s production of Peter Weiss’ Marat/Sade. Barney Simon directed this play starring Kenneth Hendel, Wilson Dunster and Sandra Prinsloo. Fatima Dike’s The Sacrifice of Kreli and the children’s matinee show Adventures of a Merry Madcap, written and directed by Janice Honeyman was staged here in 1976. Trevor Griffiths’ Comedians, directed by Leonard Schach and starring Bill Brewer, Michael Howard, Danny Keogh, Richard Cox, Ian Hamilton, Robert Whitehead and Anthony James was staged here in December 1976. It was designed by Anthony Farmer. The theatre was leased to PACT in February 1977 for a revival of Journey’s End, directed by Norman Coombes with Dale Cutts, Frantz Dobrowsky, Richard Haines, Michael McCabe, John Rogers and Norman himself. The Company presented Barney Simon’s revival of People Are Living There with Yvonne Bryceland, Wilson Dunster, Vanessa Cooke and Danny Keogh here in 1977. The Company also staged the ME nobody knows, with music by Gary William Friedman and lyrics by Will Holt here in 1977. Benjy Francis directed this show starring Leonie Hofmeyr, Leslie Mongezi, Nomsa Nene, Barrie Shah and Jonathan Taylor. John Kani and Winston Ntshona revived The Island here in June 1977 with Alan Joseph as stage manager. Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink the Water, directed by Brian Astbury was staged here in 1977. Brecht’s Mother Courage with Yvonne Bryceland and Aletta Bezuidenhout was directed by Barney Simon and staged in the main house at the Market. Barney Simon then directed an Afrikaans translation of The Women of Troy starring Aletta Bezuidenhout, Jana Cilliers, Grethe Fox, Sandra Prinsloo and Wilna Snyman later that same year. In November 1977 The Company staged Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular, designed by Anthony Farmer and co-directed by John Hussey and Mannie Manim with Diane Appleby, Graham Armitage, Naomi Buch, Wilson Dunster, Kerry Jordan and Gay Lambert. They staged Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club in December 1977. A third theatre opened at the Market called The Laager circa 1978. Barney Simon’s production of Albee’s The Death of Bessie Smith starring Janet Suzman, John Kani and Winston Ntshona was staged in the main theatre in 1979. A revival of Long Day’s Journey into Night with Joe Stewardson, Shelagh Holliday, Danny Keogh and Ron Smerczak, Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy Relatively Speaking, directed by John Hussey and starring Hussey, Helen Jessop, Andre Hattingh and John Rogers, and Sizwe Banzi is Dead, starring John Kani and Winston Ntshona was staged at the Market in 1978. Woody Allen’s Play it Again, Sam was staged here in 1978. Athol Fugard’s A Lesson from Aloes, directed by and starring Fugard, together with Shelagh Holliday and Marius Weyers enjoyed its world premiere here in November 1978. Mannie Manim staged Larry Gelbart’s Sly Fox for The Company at the Market in 1979. It was directed by Pieter-Dirk Uys and starred Patrick Mynhardt, Graham Armitage and Peter J. Elliott. Ira Levin’s Veronica’s Room was staged here by The Company in 1979. Janice Honeyman staged the pop-musical Holy Moses and All That Jazz here in 1979. Barney Simon directed Vivian Solomons and Wilma Stockenström in Fugard’s Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act in 1979. Pieter-Dirk Uys’ Die Van Aardes van Grootoor moved into the main theatre in 1979. Barney Simon directed Cincinatti – Scenes from City Life starring Vanessa Cooke, Marcel van Heerden, Danny Keogh, Lesley Nott, Barrie Shah, Thoko Ntshinga, Bo Petersen, Sam Williams and Robin Smith for The Company at The Market in1979. The Company staged Alan Ayckbourn’s How the Other Half Loves starring Helen Jessop, Kenneth Baker, Richard Haines and Yvonne Banning and directed by Graham Armitage in 1979.They staged Black Nativity directed by Pieter Scholtz and starring nineteen black artists as their Christmas production in 1979. Roy Sargeant directed Peter Nichols’ A Day in the Death of Joe Egg for the Company in May 1980. It starred Danny Keogh and Sandy Dacombe. Malcolm Purkey directed Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers, starring Ron Smerczak, Nicholas Ellenbogen and Michele Maxwell in 1980. Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, directed by Donald Howarth and starring John Kani, Winston Ntshona and Pieter-Dirk Uys was staged here in 1980. Janice Honeyman’s production of An Arabian Night was staged here in 1980. Elsa Joubert’s Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena, directed by Hilary Blecher for The Company with Nomsa Nene was staged here in August 1980. They hosted Cape Town’s Roundabout Theatre Company production of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, directed by Richard E. Grant and Mike O’Brien and starring Steven Berkoff, Henry Goodman, Fiona Ramsay and Ian Roberts in 1980. In collaboration with the Baxter they staged Stephen Gray’s Cold Stone Jug, based on the book by H.C.Bosman, and directed by Barney Simon in 1981. Arthur Kopit's Wings starring Shelagh Holliday was staged here in 1981. Cape Town’s Troupe Theatre Company brought their production of the Brecht-Weill Threepenny Opera starring Sean Taylor in 1981. Emlyn Williams brought his Charles Dickens production to the Market in 1981. Marico Moonshine and Mampoer, inspired by certain H.C.Bosman stories, was directed by Janice Honeyman and Barney Simon at the Market in 1981. Janice Honeyman directed Ain’t We Got Fun here in 1981. Taubie Kushlick staged From Taubie with Love starring Judy Page and Marloe Scott-Wilson here in 1981. Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser starring Michael Atkinson, Michael McCabe, Shelagh Holliday, Paddy Canavan, Lynne Maree and Simon Swindell and directed by Leonard Schach came here in 1982 after its initial run at the Baxter in November 1980. Leonard Schach directed Shalagh Holliday, Lynne Maree and Eric Flynn in the staged version of Helene Hanff’s memoir, 84 Charing Cross Road in April 1982. The Company staged Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce at the Market in 1982. Taubie Kushlick presented Joe Masiell in Joe Masiell Not at the Palace in March 1982. Janice Honeyman staged Romeo and Juliet with Robert Whitehead and Vanessa Cooke here in 1982. Mark Medoff’s Children of a Lesser God starring Jean St. Clair and Michael Richard with direction by Philipa Ailion was staged here in 1982. Janice Honeyman directed And Green And Golden, based on the childhood memories of Dylan Thomas, here in 1982/83. The Baxter presented Julian Mitchell’s Another Country starring Sean Taylor, Neil McCarthy, Jeremy Crutchley and John Carson, directed by Nikolas Simmonds with lighting design by Pip Marshall at the Market in July 1983. Athol Fugard’s Master Harold … and the Boys starring John Kani, Ramolao Makhene and Duart Sylwain and directed by Fugard who was assisted by Suzanne Shepherd was staged here in March 1983. Pieter-Dirk Uys staged Farce About Uys starring himself, Thoko Ntshinga and Chris Galloway in 1983. In 1984 Nomsa Nene starred in Marius Weyers’ production of the English version of Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena at the Market. Michael Atkinson starred in Caryl Brahms and Ned Sherrin’s Beecham which Leonard Schach directed for the Company of Four, which he was part, of in 1984. Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca starring Yvonne Bryceland, Elize Cawood and Louis van Niekerk was staged here in November 1984. Bobby Heaney’s production of Strindberg’s Miss Julie starring Sandra Prinsloo and John Kani originated at the Baxter and came here in February 1985. Woza Albert! returned to the main house in January 1985. Barney Simon, in collaboration with his cast which included Fiona Ramsay, Vanessa Cooke, Timmy Kwebulana, Gcina Mhlophe, Terry Norton, Thoko Ntshinga and Neil McCarthy wrote Born in the RSA which opened at Upstairs at the Market in August 1985 before moving here. Paul Slabolepszy’s double bill Under the Oak and Under the Hill, directed by Slabolepszy and Frantz Dobrowsky was presented by the Market in September 1985. Fugard’s The Island returned in 1986. Pieter-Dirk Uys’s Beyond the Rubicon was staged here in September 1986. Paul Slabolepszy’s Making Like America starring Paul, Marius Weyers, Nicky Rebelo and Lida Meiring under Bobby Heaney’s direction was staged here in December 1986. The Vusisizwe Players performed here under Phyllis Klotz’s direction in You Strike the Woman, You Strike the Rock starring Thobeka Maqutyana, Nomvula Qosha and Poppy Tsira in December 1986, and returning in early 1987 before touring Europe and North America. Soyikwa presented Matsemela Manaka’s Vuka here in 1986. David Kramer Jol was staged here in 1985. They presented Bobby Heaney’s productions of Harold Pinter’s One for the Road and Saumuel Beckett’s Catastrophe at the Wits Theatre in 1985. Hugh Whitemore’s Stevie, and Lucille Gillwald’s production of Sam Shephard’s True West was staged here in 1985. Basil Rubin presented Herb Gardiner’s I’m not Rappaport in association with the Market in 1986. A fifth venue called the Warehouse opened in April 1987. Athol Fugard’s A Place for the Pigs was staged here in 1987. Saira Essa’s new play You Can't Stop the Revolution was staged here in November 1987. Mbongeni Ngema’s musical Sarafina opened here on 12 June 1987. Janet Suzman’s production of Othello was staged here on 16 September 1987. David Kramer and Taliep Petersen’s musical District Six – The Musical was staged here in February 1988. Janice Honeyman’s Amabali – It’s Storytime was staged here in 1988. John Kani directed Kessie Govender’s Kagoos and Barney Simon directed David Lan’s Flight here in 1988. Fred Abrahamse’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was staged here through a Market-Baxter-Handspring Puppet Company collaboration in 1989. They staged Janice Honeyman’s production of Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy in 1989. Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! was staged in 1989. Susan Pam’s Curl Up and Dye was staged here circa 1989. Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods was staged here in 1989. Mbongeni Ngema’s musical Township Fever was staged here in 1990. Janice Honeyman directed Pieter-Dirk Uys in A Kiss on Your Koeksister for them at the Warehouse in 1990. Patrick Mynhardt staged his one-man show Another Sip of Jerepigo in January 1990. Mark Banks presented A Room with a Revue in June 1990. Wendy Wasserman’s The Heidi Chronicles was staged here in August 1990. Barney Simon’s Starbrites was staged here in September 1990. Fiona Ramsay directed Christopher Durang’s Laughing Wild in October 1990. Nicholas Ellenbogen’s pantomime A Nativity was stage here in 1990. Andrew Buckland starred in a return run of The Ugly Noo Noo in 1991. Janice Honeyman’s production of William Nicholson’s Shadowlands was staged here in 1991. Mannie Manim resigned in March 1991. Sarafina returned in 1992. Athol Fugard’s Playland opened on 16 July 1992. Taliep Petersen and David Kramer’s Fairyland was staged here in 1992. John Ledwaba’s Jozi Jozi Guide was staged here circa 1993. Hilary Blecher’s production of Daughters of Nebo was staged here in 1993. Steven Berkoff’s Decadence was staged here in 1993. Janice Honeyman’s pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk was staged here in 1993. Sophiatown was staged here in 1994. Clare Stopford’s production of Scenes from an Execution was staged here in 1994. Paul Slabolepszy’s Pale Natives was staged here in 1994. It came back for a second season. Can Themba’s The Suit was staged here in August 1994.The Handspring Puppet Company created Woyzeck on the Highveld in 1992 and Faustus in Africa in 1995 which originated here before touring abroad. Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona’s The Island and Sizwe Banzi is Dead was staged here in May 1995. Janet Suzman directed The Good Woman of Sharkville which was adapted by Suzman and Gcina Mhlope at the Market Theatre in July 1996. Upstairs at The Market: A small auditorium which opened at The Market on 21 June 1976 with Barney Simon’s production of Chekhov’s The Seagull starring Erica Rogers, Vanessa Cooke, Sandra Prinsloo, Bill Brewer, Marius Weyers, Danny Keogh, Lindsay Reardon and Bess Finney. Barney Simon then staged The Crucible later that same year. Fugard’s The Blood Knot, directed by Benjy Francis and starring Francis and Fats Bookholane was staged here in 1976. Francis also directed Waiting for Godot with an all black cast in 1976. One Friday in Jerusalem, directed by Garalt MacLiam, and Pieter-Dirk Uys’ God’s Forgotten, co-starring Christine Basson, Magda Beukes and Lynne Maree was staged here in 1976. In association with The Company the Academy staged Murray Schisgal’s Broadway comedy Luv, directed by Barney Simon with Wilson Dunster, Janice Honeyman and James White at Upstairs in 1977. Robert Kirby’s How Now Sacred Cow was staged here in 1977. An Afrikaans translation of Equus directed by Mario Schiess, Paradise is Closing Down directed by its author Pieter-Dirk Uys, Adam Small’s first play in English, The Orange Earth, directed by Jo Dunstan and Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, directed by Malcolm Purkey and starring Vanessa Cooke, Nicholas Ellenbogen and William Kentridge was staged here in 1978. Barney Simon directed Cincinatti – Scenes from City Life starring Vanessa Cooke, Marcel van Heerden, Danny Keogh, Lesley Nott, Barrie Shah, Thoko Ntshinga, Bo Petersen, Sam Williams and Robin Smith for The Company at Upstairs in 1979. Donald Howarth directed his own play Ibchek starring Annabel Linder, Jacqui Singer, Frantz Dobrowsky, Danny Keogh and Elaine Proctor here in 1979. Fugard’s A Lesson from Aloes was staged here in 1980. Ross Devenish directed and it starred Marius Weyers, Shelagh Holliday and Bill Curry. Janice Honeyman’s production of An Arabian Night was staged here in 1980 before moving to the big hall. Die Bywoners produced the first translation of the Fugard play Hello and Goodbye called Hallo en Koebaai, directed by Jan Engelen and starring Schalk Jacobsz and Elna Potgieter in 1981. Pieter-Dirk Uys’ Karnaval was directed by Dawie Malan and starred Magda Beukes, Lida Botha, Dale Cutts and Joey de Koker in 1981. The Glass Menagerie, directed by Lucille Gillwald and starring Shelagh Holliday and Lesley Nott was staged here in 1981. Paul Slabolepszy’s Saturday Night at the Palace starring Slabolepszy, Bill Flynn and Fats Dibeko and directed by Bobby Heaney was staged here in 1982. It returned to the Market in October. Lanford Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley’s Folly starring Dorothy Ann Gould and Anthony Fridjhon and directed by Bobby Heaney was staged here in 1982. Bobby Heaney directed Edna O’Brien’s Virginia starring Sandra Duncan, Robert Whitehead and Yvonne Banning in February 1983. Janice Honeyman directed Danny Keogh and Vanessa Cooke in a play they had written called This is for Keeps which was staged here in August 1983. Sweeney Todd, adapted and directed by Robert Whitehead starring Richard Haines and Grethe Fox was staged here in August 1983. Janice Honeyman’s production, Forbidden Fruits, starring Vanessa Cooke, Jeremy Crutchley, Mike Huff, Danny Keogh, Amanda Strydom and Annelisa Weiland was staged here in 1983/84. The Company presented Barney Simon’s Black Dog Inj’emnyama here in 1984 before going to the Edinburgh Festival. Deon Opperman’s Môre is ‘n Lang Dag was staged here in January 1985. Christo Leech’s Die Spinner was the late night show at this stage. Robin Levetan’s Skyf starring Sean Taylor originated at the Baxter before playing here in May 1985. Barney Simon, in collaboration with his cast which included Fiona Ramsay, Vanessa Cooke, Timmy Kwebulana, Gcina Mhlophe, Terry Norton, Thoko Ntshinga and Neil McCarthy wrote Born in the RSA which opened here in August 1985 before moving to the main theatre. In collaboration with Malcolm Purkey’s Junction Avenue Theatre Company the Company presented Sophiatown starring Minky Schlesinger here in February 1986, and subsequently the Market main house, abroad, with many return visits. Robert Kirby’s The Bijers Sunbird starring James Mthoba and Sean Taylor under Kirby’s direction was staged here in April 1986. Reza de Wet’s Diepe Grond starring Dawid Minnaar, Susan Coetzer, Gys de Villiers and Doris Sihula under Lucille Gillwald’s direction was staged here in 1986. Robert Whitehead directed Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane starring Christine le Brocq, Anthony James, Kevin Smith and Danny Keogh here in October 1986. Steven Berkoff’s Greek, directed by Mavis Taylor and Keith Grenville’s Not About Heroes, for Volute Productions was staged here in 1986. Esther van Ryswyk’s production of Hallo en Koebaai was staged in 1987. Andrew Buckland’s The Ugly Noo Noo was staged here in 1988. Sandra Duncan played the title role in William Luce’s Lillian in 1988. Lanford Wilson’s Burn This was staged here in 1989. Malcolm Purkey directed David Mamet’s Speed the Plow in 1990. Clare Stopford directed Ibsen’s A Doll’s House in 1990. William Kentridge directed the Handspring Puppet Company in Woyzeck on the Highveld in 1992. James Whyle’s Hellhound was staged here in 1992. Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden was staged here in 1992. Athol Fugard’s Boesman and Lena was staged here in 1993. Can Themba’s The Suit was staged here in 1993. Athol Fugard’s Hello and Goodbye was staged here in 1994. **** WAREHOUSE, The. A venue in the Market Theatre. This, the fifth venue at the Market, opened in April 1987. The opening production was Janice Honeyman’s Black and White Follies. Mara Louw and Bayete starred in Mayibuye iAfrica here in 1987. Pieter-Dirk Uys presented Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the S.A. Bothatanic starring Chris Galloway in 1987 and in December of the same year they joined forces again in Uys’ Cry Freemandela – The Movie. Andrew Buckland’s The Investigation of an Ugly Noo Noo was staged here in 1988. Sarafina was staged here in 1988/89. Janice Honeyman directed Pieter-Dirk Uys in A Kiss on Your Koeksister for the Market here in 1990. Patrick Mynhardt staged The Boy from Bethulie and Just Jerepigo here in 1990. **** (Percy Tucker, 1997) Market Theatre: The old Newtown building from 1916. Opening play 19 Oct 1976: “The persecution and assassination of Marat, performed by the inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade” .MM (dir)& B Simon. Honorary patrons were: Athol, Leon Gluckman, Nadine Gordimer, Sir Michael Redgrave & Janet Suzman. Experimental Theatre upstairs opened with The Seagull (dir) Barney. Market Theatre, JHB (Director: John Kani) Market Theatre: The old Newtown building from 1916. Opening play 19 Oct 1976: “The persecution and assassination of Marat, performed by the inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade” .MM (dir)& B Simon. Honorary patrons were: Athol, Leon Gluckman, Nadine Gordimer, Sir Michael Redgrave & Janet Suzman. Experimental Theatre upstairs opened with The Seagull (dir) Barney.
Pat Schwartz, 1988; Percy Tucker, 1997;
Loren Kruger, 1999
Feature written by Helen Grange, The Star, 20 September 2001.
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