Black Dog-Inj'emnyama!

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Black Dog-Inj'emnyama! is a multilingual, workshopped play by Barney Simon (1932-1995) and Company.

Also found as Black Dog / Inj'emnyama, Black Dog Inj'emnyama or simply Black Dog.

The original text

The seeds of the play were apparently sown by Rehearsal in Progress, a play text by Brendon Butler about being a parabat during the border war, that had won the Amstel Playwright of the Year[1] Special Merit Award, in 1983. Neil McCarthy describes how Barney Simon started with this text, but then soon abandoned it to create his own multilingual, workshopped play which juxtaposes the lives of a group of unrelated individuals during the 1976 Soweto uprising and the renewed unrest of 1984-5, in order to reflect on the unrest and responses to it.

It was first published in Barney Simon et al, Born in the RSA: Four Workshopped Plays (Witwatersrand University Press, 1997).

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1984: First performed at the Upstairs at the Market Theatre in 1984, directed by Barney Simon with Kurt Egelhof, Marie Human, John Ledwaba, Neil McCarthy, Gcina Mhlope, James Mthoba.

1984: Performed by the original cast at the Edinburgh Festival[2]

1984: Performed by the original cast at the Baxter Theatre (as a Market Theatre Company production).

2006: Performed with a new cast in the Barney Simon Theatre at the Market Theatre in June, directed by Clare Stopford with Carl Beukes (Raymond), Elton Landreu (Benny), Thandeka Malinga (Mandisa), Sandile Menze (Sipho), Elise van Niekerk (Rita) and Bheki Vilakazi (Gwababa) .

2015: Produced by the University of Cape Town’s Drama Department in Arena Theatre at UCT in honour of youth month, and repeated at the Baxter Flipside on 18 to 27 June in collaboration with the Baxter Theatre Centre. Directed by Clare Stopford with student cast including Khathu Ramabulana, Clarissa Roodt, Kai Brummer, Cleo Raatus, Sihle Mnqwazana and Tankiso Mamabolo, with original set design by Sasha Eilers.


Pat Schwartz, 1988.

Black Dog / Inj'emnyama at the Baxter, News 06/17/2015[3]

Neil McCarthy in Irene Stephanou and Leila Henriques. 2011. The World in an Orange: Creating Theatre with Barney Simon. Seven Stories Press.

Theatre programme (Market Theatre 2006) held by NELM: [Collection: MARKET THEATRE]: 2007. 32. 9. 26. 7.

Ruphin Coudyzer. 2023. Annotated list of his photographs of Market Theatre productions. (Provided by Coudyzer)

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