The Closure of the Fugard and the future of cultural landscape

South Africa’s theatre fraternity has reacted with heartbreak to the announcement that Cape Town’s famous Fugard Theatre has closed its doors for good. Named after the playwright Athol Fugard, the theatre was established in 2010 and produced many landmark productions – such as the musicals King Kong (2017) and Kat and the Kings (2012). Actress and academic Fiona Ramsay is head of the department of theatre and performing arts at the University of the Witwatersrand. She asked Ismail Mahomed, a playwright and seasoned theatre and arts festival manager, about what forces aligned to see the theatre close – and whether this could have been prevented.
The closing down of the Fugard means far more than just the loss of one more place where artists, technicians and arts administrators could have earned a living. The Fugard rose like a phoenix in democratic South Africa. It was located in an area that had once been demolished by apartheid’s bulldozers during the destruction of the mixed race suburb District Six as a result of the Group Areas Act of 1950.
Guest: Dr. Ismael Mohamed – Director of Centre of Creative Arts, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal