Heel Against the Head

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A commercial farce by Paul Slabolepszy (1995).


A farce about fanatic rugby fans, devised to commercially exploit the rugby fever and hysteria around the Rugby World Cup held in South Africa in 1995.

Performance history in South Africa

1995: Premièred at the Baxter Theatre in March, staged by Space Kids Productions, directed by Tim Plewman, with Paul Slabolepszy, Bill Flynn, Shirley Johnston, Lucinda Hooley and Gideon Emery.

1995: The same production opened in the Tesson Theatre at the Johannesburg Civic in May 1995, with Bill Flynn, Paul Slabolepszy, Nicky Rebelo, with Gaby Lomberg replacing Shirley Johnston. Set design by Nadya Cohen, Michelle Levine, Gaby Lomberg, Judy Broderick. Also at the Market Theatre.

1996: Staged in the State Theatre in March , directed by Tim Plewman, with Paul Slabolepszy, Bill Flynn, Judy Broderick, Michele Levin and Nicky Rebelo, followed by a tour to various venues around the country, including the Civic Theatre in August 1996.

The play won the FNB Vita Award for the Best Comedy of the Year 1994-1995 and the Star Tonight Best Comedy Award for 1995.

Translations and adaptations

A film, directed by Rod Stewart and Bill Flynn with Paul Slabolepszy, Bill Flynn, Shirley Johnston, Nicky Rebelo, Michele Levin, Graham Hopkins, Brendan Grealy, David Sherwood, Robert Whitehead and others, was set in Wales and released in 1999 to coincide with the '99 Rugby World Cup hosted by Wales.


Beeld, 12 August 1995.

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

cf. [Van Heerden (2008)][1]. p 236.

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