He Left Quietly

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A 2002 play written by Yael Farber in collaboration with Duma Kumalo focusing on Kumalo's personal experiences as a human rights activist in South Africa in the 1980s and as a former death row prisoner who was reprieved just 15 hours before he was to be hanged. The play's title comes from the central character musing that perhaps the body remains after the soul has left quietly...

Published by Oberon Books (London), together with A Woman in Waiting and Amajuba: Like Doves We Rise in Theatre as Witness, a trilogy of Yael Farber plays - foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history outside South Africa

The play was commissioned by the House of World Cultures in Berlin, Germany, where it was first performed at the InTransit Festival in June 2002.

Staged in the Lower Ossington Theatre at the SummerWorks Festival in Toronto, Canada, in August 2014, directed by Leora Morris, with Conrad Coates, Aviva Armour-Ostroff, and Tawiah Ben-Eben M'Carthy.

Performance history in South Africa

Premièred in South Africa at the Grahamstown Festival in 2002, directed by Yael Farber, with Duma Kumalo, Lebohang Elephant and Yana Sakelaris. The same production was subsequently staged in the Arena Theatre at the State Theatre in August 2002.


The Star, 27 August 2002.

The Star, 3 September 2002.

Sunday Independent, 8 September 2002.

The Sowetan, 8 & 9 September 2002.

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