The Island

by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona

Touring nationally Spring 2017

Touring nationally Spring 2017, Southwark Playhouse transfer Spring 2017.

In South Africa it was forbidden to mention that The Island existed. It was a place where you put the people you wanted to forget.

Two men, unlikely friends, stagger through days of crippling prison work, breaking free in nights of playful escapism and ecstatic, dreamlike joy. With just scraps from their cell, they prepare for a performance of Antigone in front of the prisoners and guards - an act of defiance from people who have lost everything they have to lose.

With gut-wrenching emotion, soaring beauty and exquisite simplicity, this great drama of defiance  and determination draws on the stories that linger from Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was  held prisoner.


“It’ll leave you breathless” **** - The Times, Pick of the Week

“There are few things in theatre, especially when played in an intimate setting, as moving as this play’s opening…excellent performances of restrained power” - British Theatre Guide

“…we were listening in rapture all the way through this gripping, subtle, intense, real and moving production.” **** - Daily Info

“South African apartheid might be history, and Robben Island a tourist attraction, but The Island remains relevant as this excellent production makes clear.” ***** - The Oxford Times

“Pity, terror, triumph” - Libby Purves

Cast & Creative

Director - John Terry

Designer - Sam Dowson



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Produced by The Theatre Chipping Norton and Dukes Lancaster in association with Southwark Playhouse