John Kani’s internationally acclaimed new play Kunene and the King comes to the Fugard Theatre from 30 April 2019 for a strictly limited season, hot off its world premiere at The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre in England.

Kunene and the King Fugard

Eric Abraham presents this Fugard Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company co-production, which reunites the powerhouse team of director Janice Honeyman (The Tempest…MissingNothing But The TruthHello and Goodbye, The Fugard Theatre’s production of The Mother) with writer actor, activist and playwright, John Kani (The Tempest, The Island, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, and movie Black Panther), performing opposite Antony Sher (The Tempest, The Fugard Theatre’s production of Broken Glass, the RSC productions of King Lear, 2016 and 2018 and Death of a Salesman).

Kunene and the King has received rapturous reviews including five stars from The Guardian’s Michael Billington, who commented, “beautifully captures the complex divides of race, class and politics in a remarkable and moving new play”.

Kunene and the King at the Fugard

Kunene and the King is a moving and funny two-hander that provides a fitting tribute to mark the 25th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections after apartheid. It is South Africa, 2019. Two men from contrasting walks of life are thrust together to reflect on a quarter century of change. John Kani stars as Lunga, a headstrong male nurse contracted to care for cantankerous actor Jack (Antony Sher) as he copes with terminal liver cancer.

Design is by Birrie le Roux (Shakespeare in LoveKing KongOrpheus in Africa). Lighting is by Mannie Manim (The TempestSizwe Banzi is Dead, The Fugard Theatre productions of The MotherThe Painted Rocks At Revolver CreekThe Blue Iris), music is by Neo Muyanga (the Flower of Shembe, memory of how it feels) and sound design is by David Classen (Langarm, Shakespeare in Love).

Other review comments have included:

“ **** Raw and engrossing two-hander dissects modern South Africa … John Kani and Sir Antony Sher are outstanding … There’s a musicality to the way these actors work together … the writing is rich and raw … Engrossing, and executed with consummate skill” – Sam Marlowe, The Times

“****A compassionate character study … Kani’s writing remains deeply incisive, full of both anger and understanding … [His] clever and compassionate character study explores life under, and after, apartheid” – Dave Fargnoli, The Stage

What: Kunene and the King at the Fugard

Where and when: The Fugard Theatre from 30 April 2019

Book: 021 461 4554 or

Photo credit: Ellie Kurttz