BY BILLY SUTER
CAPE Town’s Fugard Theatre introduced a new-look website yesterday, an exciting digital platform that offers free streaming of previous successful productions staged there as well as a virtual tour of the theatre’s foyer.
The Fugard at Home, as the website’s new platform is named, was launched in response to the theatre having to cancel its 2020 season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The site is available at www.thefugard.com.
The launch follows the spread of the coronavirus, the subsequent lockdown, and the current uncertainty about when theatres will be able to safely operate again.
Theatre-lovers will be able to stream some of The Fugard Theatre’s acclaimed past productions, visit the Information Hub to find out what is streaming both locally and globally, and even take a 360-degree tour of the theatre’s foyer. Visitors can also learn more about playwright and actor Athol Fugard and his extensive body of work, as well as read up on the history of the building accommodating the Fugard.
“We are hugely excited to launch the Fugard at Home platform, after weeks of hard work by The Fugard Theatre team. We encourage our audiences to explore and engage with the new platform, which has so much on offer,” says Greg Karvellas, artistic director of the theatre.
“We will be announcing exciting additions to the platform in weeks to come. The Fugard will return to presenting work on our glorious stage, but in the meantime, we can all play it safe and go digital.”
All content on the Fugard at Home will be offered free of charge and as a public service to keep theatre and the arts alive in the homes and minds of audiences during the pandemic, says Lamees Albertus, general manager and producer of The Fugard Theatre.
A highlight on the platform will be the opening of the Fugard Theatre’s production archive, where visitors can stream recorded live titles of a curated selection of The Fugard’s past productions.
Now available is a fine production of Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca, starring South African legends Sandra Prinsloo and Marius Weyers and the award-winning Emily Child, which ran at the Fugard in 2018.
The production received three Fleur du Cap Theatre Award nominations for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Set Design (for the late Saul Radomsky).
In addition, the compelling production of Fugard’s Master Harold”…And The Boys, which was staged in celebration of the theatre’s tenth birthday, is now also available to stream due to popular demand.
Starring Desmond Dube, Kai Luke Brummer and Siya Mayola, the production has met with rave reviews. It has been described as “a fine tribute to one of South Africa’s finest playwrights” (Sunday Times); “riveting and powerful… a must-see” (Cape Argus) and “one for the history books…Heartbreaking – and yet satisfyingly poignant” (Broadway World).
The Fugard at Home will also feature The Performer Series, which will go in to production soon. This will provide a sterilised environment for multi-medium, single-performer pieces, including theatre, dance, music and more, to take place on the Fugard’s main stage, filmed and edited and then broadcast on the digita platform. Once launched, an episode will be released every week.
The Fugard at Home aims to be an ever-evolving virtual platform and arts portal, including Fugard Theatre merchandise which will be released for sale on the platform soon.
For access to offers and exclusive events on The Fugard at Home, sign up as a Friend of The Fugard on the website, www.thefugard.com
Athol Fugard is an internationally acclaimed playwright, director and actor, who has written almost 40 plays over half a century. These have united diverse audiences, spoken out against the injustices of apartheid and underlined the common humanity we share.
In 2011, he received the ultimate recognition from the world’s most prestigious theatre community – a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre.
The Fugard Theatre NPC is a not-for-profit company which works towards the advancement, promotion and preservation of arts and culture in South Africa, in honour of Athol Fugard.
Should you wish to donate towards The Fugard Theatre’s work, you can do so by going to www.thefugard.com/donate