The Blood Knot

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by Athol Fugard. A play about the bonding of two black brothers, one of whom is lighter skinned and has been passing for white. Fugard’s first truly successful play, one which is highly regarded internationally as well, it first opened at the Rehearsal Room at Dorkay House on 3rd September, 1961 before an invited interracial audience. Directed by Fugard, who played “Morris” with Zakes Mokae as “Zachariah”, and with designs by Frank Graves. It opened at the Intimate Theatre on 11 November 1961(1963?*). This production marked the birth of a new South African accent and focus in South African theatre. It toured the country and was shown to acclaim in London For example, it was staged at the Labia Theatre, Cape Town on the evening of 12 February 1962, and - commissioned by the British publisher Andrew Deutsch, was staged on London’s West End in May 1962.

Later Fugard reworked it and changed the title to Bloodknot. This was directed by Benjy Francis in the Upstairs Theatre at the Market Theatre in 1976.

The play was first published in 1961/4?*. A revised version was published under the title Bloodknot[Blood Knot?*] in 198* and performed by ** in 1988**. (See Gosher, 1988) Blood Knot, The by Athol Fugard. Athol and Zakes Mokae starred in this play which opened at the Rhodes Theatre in Grahamstown in July 1961, and then played at the Rehearsal Room at Dorkay House in September. Leon Gluckman then presented it at the Intimate.

This play was staged again at Upstairs at The Market, directed by Benjy Francis and starring Francis and Fats Bookholane in 1976. Barney Simon directed this play starring John Kani and Marcel van Heerden for PACT in 1988. Directed by Christopher Weare for Little Theatre Tours at UCT Arena Theatre with Christopher Gxalaba and Tim Greene, May 1990.

Bloedbroers, an Afrikaans translation by Kobus J. Kotze was performed at the Absa KKNK in 2009, directed by Zane Meas with Christo Davids and Hennie Jacobs. Published in Simondium and also in Boesman and Lena ''and Other Plays'' (Oxford University Press).


Cape Times, 22 May 1990

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