Athol Fugard

Posted by PE Travel Blogger on Sun November 1, 2015 in Legends of Port Elizabeth.

World famous Athol Fugard, playwright and social activist.

Athol Fugard was born in Middleburg in the Eastern Cape of South African in 1932.

Named after his father Harold, he was named Harold, Athol, Lanigan Fugard. His family moved to Port Elizabeth in 1935 and he attended Marist Brothers College.

He became famous for creating works in access of thirty plays where he confronted racial segregation.

While living in Johannesburg wrote Blood Not earning international recognition. He starred in the play alongside Zakes Mokae. The play was critical of apartheid and the South African government withdrew his passport for 4 years. He suffered further restrictions in his movements when he supported the anti apartheid movements boycott of segregated theater audiences.

Fugard continued to write plays critiquing apartheid including The Coat in 1966, co-authored by John Kani and Winston Ntshona, and Siswe Bansi Is Dead in 1972.

His play "Master Harold"....and the Boys, in 1982 draws heavily on his childhood in Port Elizabeth and in 1982 it made its premiere on Broadway on 4 May at the Lyceum Theatre, where it ran for 344 performances.

He directed his first movie, and adaptation of The Road to Mecca, in 1992.

The Fugard Theater opened in Cape Town in 2010 with his play The Train Driver.

Athold Fugard was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 2011.

A sculpture honoring Port Elizabeth's famous playwright was erected in St Georges Park in front of the swimming baths where his mother ran the tea room. Doncaster Cottages are situated on the edge of this historic park.