A Feast in Time of Plague

A documentary that explores the artistic responses made by state-funded theatre-makers to the apartheid state. The film focuses on those who worked in the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) between 1970 and 1990, and uses interviews, archive material and music to probe themes such as the implementation of apartheid legislation within the arts council, forms of subversion in Afrikaans theatre, and the effect of censorship on theatre-makers. Ultimately, the documentary explores the shifts and transitions that South African theatre-makers made in response to their environment during the last two decades of the Performing Arts Council era. Key productions from both the 1970s and 1980s are employed as case studies, some of which include: August, August, August (1969), Titus Andronicus (1970) , Kanna hy kô Hystoe (1974), Bacchus in Die Boland (1975), Die Plaasvervangers (1978), Christine (1986), Anatomie Titus: Fall of Rome (1986), Quartet (1988), Piekniek by Dingaan (1989) and Kinkels innie Kabel (1989). Interviewees include Pieter Fourie, Marthinus Basson, Johan Esterhuizen, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Percy Tucker, Robin Malan, Albert Maritz, Royston Stoffels, Liz Dick, Marina Albertyn and Mike van Graan. This documentary film was created by Amber Fox-Martin and Philip Theron, in association with the Stellenbosch University History Department. The copyright of the original thesis documentary rests with Stellenbosch University.

DirectorsAmber Fox-Martin & Philip TheronYear2020


Film Review:

by Robyn Cohen

"Beyond its value as a documentary, archival footage conjures up a vivid sense of a theatre master-class –so that we may look and learn from productions which were groundbreaking and which are bound to inspire contemporary theatre makers in the use of metaphor, image and approach."

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News Releases & Articles

Netwerk 24 Article

"'n Tyd toe Afrikaanse teater die
regering 'be-lag-ik' gemaak het."
- Laetitia Pople

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Netwerk 24 Article

"Dokkie fokus op Afrikaanse teater in Kruik-dae"
- Laetitia Pople

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Die Matie Article

Article by Die Matie

- Lezanne Steenkamp

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The Cape Robyn Article

Interview with the Cape Robyn.

- Robyn Cohen

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The Cape Robyn News Release

Documentary: A Feast in Time of Plague, South Africa.

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Artslink News Release

"Fascinating theatre documentary at Encounters"
- Christine Skinner

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The copyright in the original thesis documentary rests with Stellenbosch University. This research was conducted as part of Amber Fox-Martin’s studies undertaken at SU. Any queries regarding copyright works can be taken up with Amber Fox-Martin.

© 2020 Amber Fox-Martin. All Rights Reserved. Photography by Lynda Smith. Website design by Theresa Martin.

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