Saturday, 8 April 2017

Pictures from Play Launch at South African House 28 March 2017


Jack Klaff performing an extract from the play at the launch.


Playwright Matthew Hahn at the play launch


Members of SAYA who performed extracts from the play along with Sir Nick Stanlin, and Pumela Salela from Brand South Africa.


The High Commissioner of South Africa, HE Mr. Obed Malaba at the Launch.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Play to Launch in London: The Robben Island Shakespeare (Global South African Newsletter)

RobbenIslandShakespeareDid you know that during the Apartheid years in South Africa, a copy of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare" was smuggled around the prison on Robben Island?

The book's significance resides in the fact that the book's owner, Sonny Venkatratham, passed it to a number of his fellow political prisoners in the single cells, including Nelson Mandela, asking them to mark their favourite passages with a signature and date. Informally known as "The Robben Island Bible", numerous prisoners selected the speeches that meant the most to them and their experience as political prisoners. 

In 2008 and 2010, playwright Matthew Hahnconducted interviews with eight former political prisoners in South Africa who were on Robben Island and signed Sonny’s ‘Bible’.

Offering a vivid and startling account of the experience of these political prisoners during Apartheid, his extraordinary verbatim play called "The Robben Island Shakespeare" weaves Shakespeare's words together with first-hand accounts from these men. They offer their reflections on their time as Liberation activists and, twenty years later, on the costs, consequences and whether or not it was all worth it.

For more information about the play and the accompanying Ethical Leadership Workshops, please visit The Robben Island Shakespeare website


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Ubuntu: sharing South Africa Friday 20 January, 18.00–21.00 Great Court and Clore Centre for Education British Museum

The Robben Island Shakespeare by South African Youth Ambassadors 

Pop-up performances across the evening, 

Clore Centre for Education

Members from the South African Youth Ambassadors perform extracts from the play The Robben Island Shakespeare, along with their own original writing which reflects on what it takes to be an ethical leader today and in the future. 

Friday, 4 November 2016

Special event Memories of Mandela at the British Museum [Friday 13 January 2017, 18.30–20.00 BP Lecture Theatre]

Staged in the auditorium officially opened by Nelson Mandela in 2000, this discussion celebrates and explores the life, character and enduring legacy of the South African leader on his nation and the world.
A panel of speakers whose lives and careers were influenced by the leader includes John Battersby, co-author of Mandela: A Life in Photographs (2011) and author of the Afterword in Mandela: the Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson (2011), Pumela Salela, Brand South Africa, playwright and theatre director, Matthew Hahn and John Carlin, journalist and author of Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation (2008, adapted into the film Invictus).
Presented in collaboration with South African High Commission.



South Africa: the art of a nation at the British Museum

27 October 2016 - 26 February 2017 

From some of the earliest examples of human creativity to cutting-edge contemporary works, discover the fascinating history of South Africa through art. 

In this exhibition a diverse range of art from across the ages tells a story that stretches back 100,000 years. From rock art made by the country’s earliest peoples to works by South African artists at the forefront of contemporary art, the exhibition features beautiful and important objects, which illustrate South Africa’s rich history. 

Come on a journey from the very beginnings of artistic thought, through some of the earliest sculpture in southern Africa to colonial art from the 17th century onwards. See magnificent examples of 19th-century South African art, highly charged 20th-century works that responded to segregation and apartheid, and pieces that showcase the post-apartheid transformation of the nation since 1990. 

The exhibition features a selection of significant objects, including some of the world’s oldest art objects and striking contemporary pieces responding to the country’s recent past. See the history of a nation from a new perspective and celebrate the artistic accomplishments of the many peoples that have contributed to the story of South Africa.