Durham-based Elysium Theatre Company is embarking on a 15-venue tour across the north with Athol Fugard's famously barrier-breaking two-hander The Island.
Set on Robben Island, where anti-apartheid campaigner Nelson Mandela spent nearly two decades in prison, the production marks the 50th anniversary of the play's first staging in South Africa, where it made theatrical history by being part of a season that defied apartheid’s racial laws banning black and white people from working together.
Elysium co-founder and artistic director Jake Murray explained]: “It was an incredibly important play during the fight against apartheid and has been seen all over the world, including two international tours with its original cast.
“Now apartheid is long gone, we can look at it again and see it as a universal metaphor for political crises all over the world, and a cry for freedom we can all understand. We’re very proud to have it for its 50th anniversary. We seem to have stolen a march on the rest of the country and it all starts up here in our part of the world.”
Tour dates are mostly North-East and Yorkshire-based local theatres starting at the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham on February 15-17, with a North-West date at the Lowry in Salford (March 16-18).
See the full venue list, and more info and tickets here