African National Theatre (ANT)

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The title of a festival of short plays, put on by the Bantu People’s Theatre at the Ghandi Hall in Fordsburg in 1941. The programme had a strong socialist emphasis and included Gaur Radebe’s The Rude Criminal and I. Pinchuk’s Tau, performed largely in Sesotho and starring Dan Twala.

According to Loren Kruger (1999), the experiment does not seem to have been repeated, though Percy Tucker (1997) suggests that ANT was more than a simple festival, and that it actually constituted an own movement, which had developed out of the Bantu People’s Theatre. He says that Patriot Pie by Guy Routh was performed by ANT, as well as Radebe’s play and The Word and the Act by an unknown author.

It would thus seem as if much of the history of this early radical theatre movement has disappeared. (Couzens, 1985; Kruger, 51ff, 74-5;Tucker, 1997, 15).

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