“…as long as you’ve got somebody who wants to come and watch it, you’ve got theatre…”

Despite living outside of South Africa for seventeen years, it would seem Anthony Akerman never left, so suffused did he remain in South African theatre. In all things South African for that matter.

The security branch was first alerted to him when in his 20s the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement invited him to direct Athol Fugard’s Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act. Boesman and Lena followed, then A Lesson from Aloes and My Children! My Africa! All Dutch translations.

He wrote his first play while living in Holland; Somewhere on the Border is a moving depiction of life as a soldier in Angola. It was banned here, and yet, when eventually staged, was nominated for the DALRO Best Play Award.

When allowed home, back into South Africa in 1995, he found interesting South African trailblazers – glamours figures from literature, history and politics and wrote them into plays for stage and radio.
Captivated by the controversial poet Roy Campbell and his part in the Bloomsbury set, he wrote Dark Outsider, which won the Vita Playwright of the Year Award 1995.
Heresy & Treason, a play about Bishop Colenso. The Africanist, about the anti-apartheid icon Robert Sobukwe. No Place for You, a dramatization of Ruth First’s book 117 days

Educated at Michaelhouse, he studied drama at Rhodes University, did the Director’s Course at the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, his postgrad in Theatre Studies at the University of Cardiff.

He is schooled, he is educated, he is masterful, he is worth viewing. Hear his account of an artist in exile, an artist who felt acute homesickness for his homeland.