Hitting the Big Time - Letter to Barney Simon

Letter to Barney Simon

See an image of the original letter: Page 1 | Page 2

London 8/7/66

Dear Barney,

As you might have heard Hampstead has been an incredible success. Brother Jero has been running this week - full houses every night. Blood Knot is on again all of next week and present indications are that it will do just as well. The Reviews have been excellent - in fact disconcertingly so.

So that's that. The move here is now justified on all levels. I have learnt a tremendous amount - and am ready now to return. Needless to say everybody says I am mad and that with a success like this behind me I should stay etc. etc. They don't understand.

As I've said Blood Knot, next week, ends the season and then Sheila and I will sort things out here, pack our suitcases and start to move back home. This we intend doing in slow stages, so it is not yet possible to say when we will arrive in Johannesburg. When we do know we will cable you and look forward to a reunion in South Africa - from the look of things this will happen early September.

Are you well?


Play on?

Pass the news on to Ian.

All for now. I'll write again just before leaving.


- Letter to Barney Simon, July 8, 1966 (Letter, Historical Papers, Cullen Library: A2511 FUGARD)

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"The moral responsibility of the artist is to keep alive a total awareness of the realities of our time."
Athol Fugard
Athol Fugard
© Sunday Times


Resistance through theatre - Reviews as sources

In this lesson plan, learners will be asked to think about how theatre can speak to people in powerful ways that are not always possible through other media. By reading reviews and assessments of Fugard's plays, learners will appreciate the kind of impact that they had on audiences living under apartheid.

Lesson plan
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Archive Photo Gallery
A selection of images from Athol Fugard’s life and plays.
Artwork Photo Gallery
Get a closer view of the memorial to Athol Fugard in Port Elizabeth’s St George’s Park
Athol Fugard and John Kani
Athol Fugard discusses his relationship with Sam Semela, the inspiration behind the protagonist of ’Master Harold’ … and the boys, with Dali Tambo