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By Dennis Walder (auth.)

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Extra resources for Athol Fugard

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But this was an earnest attempt to use the talent of a man who was subsequently to become a serious actor-playwright and so reflect the actual quality of life in Sophiatown, rather than the exploitation or 'packaging' of blaek experienee wh ich eharacterised later eultural interaction. The 'Sophiatown group' which Fugard met, most of them 44 The Sophiatown Plays now dead or in exile, incIuded 'one splendid actor in the person of Zakes Mokae'. Mokae struck Fugard as ideally suitable for a thug, a small role he gave hirn in No-Good Friday, in which he played one of Shark's murderous sidekicks.

In a few months, Fugard worked on plays by Shaw, Beckett, Ionesco, Pirandello, the South African James Ambrose Brown, and others. It was, he recalled later, a 'crash course' in modern drama; and it whetted his appetite for further professional experience. Soon he and Sheila had saved enough to leave for Europe, like many aspiring young colonials before and since. In London in the autumn of 1959, they resorted to odd jobs to keep going, ~nd pay for theatre tickets. e. a play about a black passing for a white), A Kakamas Greek, with Fugard in the title roIe, at a Festival of Avant-Garde Theatre in Brussels.

4 In 1938 Fugard entered the Catholic Marist Brothers College in Port Elizabeth. While his mother continued to keep the family, 'Hally' (as he was called until his teens) beg an his secondary education on a council scholarship at 20 Career and Personal Injluences the local technical college, where he had his first experience of amateur dramatics, both as an actor and as director of the school play. A course in motor mechanics reflected his interest in cars, an interest in wh ich re-emerges in the fantasy sequence (n The Blood Knot and in the TV play Mille Miglia (1968).

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