Reimagining Tragedy from Africa: A South African perspective

Monday, January 27, 2020 - 5:30pm
Mark Fleishman (Cape Town)
Lecture Theatre, Ioannou Centre

An APGRD public lecture

In this public lecture, Prof. Mark Fleishman will present the ideas motivating a new five-year project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Reimagining Tragedy from Africa and the Global South. The project sets out  to explore tragedy, a concept from the very beginnings of theatre in its European manifestation and therefore of the discipline of Theatre Studies which is decidedly European, and to reimagine it from a perspective in Africa that is at once directed at the complex challenges of our global postcolonial present and towards our possible futures.

The presentation will focus on a new production, Antigone (Not quite/quiet), recently produced in Cape Town by Magnet Theatre as part of the broader research project. It will do so against the backdrop of recent social and political events in South Africa and as a development of two earlier works: a version of Medea (1994) at the point at which South Africa was moving from the system of apartheid into a new dispensation, and a version of the Orestes/Electra story, titled In the City of Paradise (1998), in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process a few years later. The latter work was re-staged in 2015 with a new generation of young performers responding to the consequences of the policy of reconciliation proposed by the Mandela government post-1994.