DISTRICT 6: OUR BUCKINGHAM PALACE
by Basil Appollis & Sylvia Vollenhoven.
Jermyn Street Theatre 16b Jermyn Street SW1Y 6ST In rep to 5 July 2014.
4pm 3, 5 July.
9pm 4 July.
Runs 1hr 15min No interval.
TICKETS: 0207 287 2876.
Review: William Russell 27 June.
South African treasure.
District 6 is one of a trio of plays making up this season – the others are Fever by Reza de Wet about a young Englishwoman who goes as governess to a Boer family, and Athol Fugard’s celebrated Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act.
It is a fascinating season with this monologue, delivered impeccably by Basil Appolis, arguably the jewel in the crown (full details of the timings of the plays which run in repertoire can be found on the theatre’s web site). District 6 is a novel by Richard Rive, the South African playwright and academic who was murdered in his home in 1989 days before a stage adaptation of the novel was due to open.
It is about how under apartheid the inhabitants of District 6, a potentially desirable area at the foot of Table Mountain, were moved out of the city so that it could be redeveloped for whites only.
Appollis brilliantly conjures up that lost society of Black South Africans and Cape Coloured South Africans which was destroyed. But he has superb material to work with.
It undeniably resonates more with South Africans but it is still a heart wrenching experience – funny to start with and ultimately deeply sad. Not everyone survives. This is a season well worth checking out.
Cast: Basil Appollis.
Director Sandra Temmingh.