Theatre Review

'Master Harold ... and the Boys' recalls how it felt to live under apartheid

On at Cape Town's Fugard Theatre, this historic play is as compelling as it is immersive, writes Claire Keeton

09 February 2020 - 00:00 By claire keeton

The audience gasps, holding its breath. It waits for the white schoolboy in uniform, Hally, to do the right thing by Sam, the elder black "servant" who has provided him with comfort and friendship throughout his distressed childhood. Sam's ballroom-dancing friend, Willy, can barely look at them. But the tension that this trio of award-winning actors creates on stage is so powerful that nobody else can look away.

"You don't want to do this," Sam has told Hally. When the boy does not listen, it's a visceral blow to everyone in the intimate space of the Fugard Theatre's Fugard Studio. They wait, unsure how this will end...

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