People are Living There

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People are Living There is a 1960s four-hander play by Athol Fugard.

The original text

First performed in Glasgow, Scotland at the Citizens' Theatre in 1967 and first performed in South Africa at the Hofmeyr Theatre, Cape Town, by CAPAB in 1968.

First published by Buren in 1969. Published by Oxford University Press (1983).

Translations and adaptations

Translated into Afrikaans by Marko van der Colff as Daar Leef Mense Daar, first produced on 20 August 1982. The text is unpublished.

Performance history in South Africa

1968: Presented by CAPAB at the Hofmeyr Theatre, directed by the author, starring Yvonne Bryceland (Milly), Athol Fugard (Don), Ken Leach (Shorty), Gillian Garlick (Sissy). Lighting devised by Scott Robertson.

1969: Revived by Peter Curtis, manager of English drama of the state-funded Cape Performing Arts Board under the direction of Athol Fugard, with Yvonne Bryceland as “Milly” and Bill Flynn (Ken Leach?) as “Shorty”, Don played by the author and Sissy by Gillian Garlick, opening at the Hofmeyr Theatre on 14 June 1969. It was taken on tour of the country in conjunction with the other Performing Arts Councils. Played at the Rhodes University Theatre in Grahamstown on 21 and 22 July 1969.

1969/70: Presented around by PACT/CAPAB in association with Phoenix Players at the Alexander Theatre. Directed by Athol Fugard. Cast - Milly: Yvonne Bryceland. Don: Athol Fugard. Shorty: Ken Leach. Sissy: Gillian Garlick. Set designed by Keith Anderson. Costumes designed by Jennifer Craig. Company manager was Dale Cutts, stage manager David McBirnie, assistant stage manager Glynn Day. Set constructed and painted by Keith Anderson Productions. Production photographer Brian Astbury.

1971: Directed by Francois Swart for PACT, ??

1972: Produced at The Space, Cape Town, directed by Bill Tanner, with Yvonne Bryceland, Bill Flynn, Jacqui Singer and Paul Slabolepszy; designer Axel Pedersen; stage manager Bee Berman. Also ran on three further occasions at The Space (Cape Town) in 197*, with Yvonne Bryceland, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Glynn Day, Wilson Dunster, Andrea Fine and Fiona Stuart-White.

1977: Staged by The Company in The Market Theatre, directed by Barney Simon, with Yvonne Bryceland (Milly), Danny Keogh (Don), Wilson Dunster (Shorty) and Vanessa Cooke (Sissy).

1982: Produced in Afrikaans by CAPAB as Daar Leef Mense Daar. It opened in the Nico Malan Theatre on 20 August, with subsequent performances at the H.B. Thom Theatre, the Monument Theatre in Grahamstown and the Savoy Theatre in Port Elizabeth in September. Directed by Athol Fugard, assisted by Rozelle Vogelman, with Lida Meiring (Milly), David van der Merwe (Shorty), Marthinus Basson (Don) and Lisa-Maria Fugard (Sissy). Decor and costumes were by Penny Simpson and lighting by Malcolm Hurrell.

1984: Daar Leef Mense Daar, the Afrikaans translation by Van der Colff was staged by PACT, directed by Dawie Malan, featuring Marie Pentz (Milly), Peter Terry (Don), Frantz Dobrowsky (Shorty) and Ilse van Hemert (Sissy).

1986: Staged by the University of Pretoria Drama Department, directed by Louwrens Odendaal, with Mari van Niekerk (Milly), Francois Thearon (Don), Henk Vos (Shorty) and Henrietta Gryffenberg (Sissy).

1989: In May 1989 the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department presented the play at the Libertas Theatre during the Lanzerac Stellenbosch Festival. The director was Noël Roos and the cast were Catherine Fenix, Arnold Hoon, Waldi Schultz and Tanya Swanepoel.

1995: Performed in the Baxter Theatre in 1995, directed by Christopher Weare with Brenda Wood, Jonathan Pienaar, Marguerite Albrecht and Pierre Neethling.

1997: Staged in The Civic in February 1997, directed by Dorothy-Ann Gould, with Sandra Prinsloo, Justin Cohen, Byron Mondahl and Celia Steyn-Craddock.

2008: Produced in Afrikaans as Daar Leef Mense Daar at the Suidoosterfees, directed by Juanita Swanepoel, with Denise Newman as "Milly", Johann Nel, Bronwyn van Graan en Charlton Lee Geor­ge.

2013: Performed on 21 - 24 May in the Scaena Theatre in Bloemfontein by the UFS Drama Department of the University of the Free State. Directed by Karabelo Lekalake

2015: Performed by the Market Theatre and the Windybrow Theatre by arrangement with DALRO (Pty) Limited in the Barney Simon Theatre, Johannesburg from 22 April to 24 May. Directed by André Odendaal with Anna-Mart van der Merwe (Milly), Carel Nel, Dania Gelderblom, and Francois Jacobs.

2015: Performed by the Hungry Minds Theatre Collective at the National Arts Festival, Grahamastown, the Cape Town Fringe, the Vrygrond Family Festival and the Galloway Theatre, Cape Town. Directed and adapted for young audiences by Blythe Stuart Linger and Kathleen Stephens with Imke du Toit as Milly, Kiroshan Naidoo as Don, Almar Muller as Shorty and Clarissa Roodt as Sissy.

2020: Performed by the Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society (HHDS) at The Playhouse Theatre in Somerset West, designed and directed by Darryl Spijkers with Rene Frylinck, Thomas Agates, Hugo Botha and Tanya Erasmus.

Radio, film and TV

19**: A filmed version of the original stage production ***

2012: An Afrikaans radio adaptation was broadcast as Daar Leef Mense Daar by RSG on 15 November, directed by Juanita Swanepoel, with Deidré Wolhuther (Milly), Johann Nel, Wessel Pretorius and Hannah Borthwick.


CAPAB theatre programme, 1968.

Programme notes of the production in 1969/70 at the Alexander Theatre.

Teater SA, 1(4), 1969.

The Company theatre programme, 1977.

PACT theatre programme, 1984.

University of Pretoria Drama Department theatre programme, 1986.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Weekly Mail, 24-30 March 1995.

Review by Wilhelm Snyman, Cape Times, 15 March 1995.

Astbury, 1979.

Press release: "People Are Living There at Market Theatre", Market Theatre Foundation - 04/14/2015 [1] [2]

Die Burger, programme of the Suidoosterfees, 15 January, 2008[3]

Die Burger, article on the Suidoosterfees, 23 January 2008[4]

University of the Free State, Drama and Theatre Arts Home Page[5]

"People are Living There by Hungry Minds theatre - 28/09/2015", Artslink News (

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

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