MUST SEE: Master Harold… and the boys

The production runs from September 21 at the National Theatre

TONY AWARD-winning playwright Athol Fugard’s Master Harold… and the boys returns to audiences and this time at London’s National Theatre.

The semi-autobiographical work is a must-see, and first premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre in 1982 before moving onto Broadway. The story reflects apartheid-era South Africa and analyses the nature of friendship, and the ways people are capable of hurting even those they love – something Fugard related to and drew on from his own experiences to shape the story.

Set in St George’s Park Tea Room, Port Elizabeth, 1950, employees Sam and Willie practise their steps for the finals of the ballroom dancing championship. Hally arrives from school to hide out in his parents’ tea room. These two men have been unlikely best friends to Hally his whole life – but in the midst of apartheid, he’s Master Harold, and they are the boys.

Master Harold… and the boys explores the ingrained racism and dynamics between a young man and his family employees, making for a captivating watch.

The production, which will play at the National Theatre from September 21, is directed by Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night) and stars Lucian Msamati (Amadeus) and Hammed Animashaun (Barber Shop Chronicles) as Sam and Willie.

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