Praise for Peel

.‘xerr: sex, the,"d all he carryrr‘ir; lll,’ crimes," said John Peel of punk rockers lhe D‘s/antes in a quote that sums ur, leen.‘1qel<rcla .','nt‘:r Paul Hodson", personal attitude towards the ‘tl‘rllllllélllf, Radio 7 DJ.

'l le .vas a l,rrllrant broadcaster. a genius. the voice of rnusrc.’ enthuses Hodson About a year after he dred I felt like really wanted to write a play about his llft: ' locussrng pnrnarrly on his relationship with his producer John Walters, lee/rage Kicks rs just that play.

'l-le's such an icon, I thought that It was important to look back on what he did, who he was and what qualities he had. The more I tried to understand hrrn the more | tell that what he gave to broadcasting was very important. One thing that really concerns me is there isn't another one, there isn't a DJ who Will put his neck on the block and say "I'm playing this".'

The play sounds a worthy tribute to a man whose legend wrll live long after him. (Nicola l~lushandl I Assembler Unrversa/ Arts. (383 3030, .l—L’FAr/g; (not 745’, 80/, 33.40pm, l‘ 78. :30—1‘ M (5 l(), 50".“ 713. :30). Preview 3 Aug, 1‘ 70.

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Revisiting our recently departed PM

YOU knew it was coming! Mere coIOLirful than Derry lmne's wallpaper. more expensive than a peerage. but a bit less fictional than the Weapons of Mass Destruction. Yes it‘s the musical versron of old Pinocchro's political life. Or two ver'8ions. in fact. by two yong companies. White Rose Theatre and lo Theatre.

But neither are as hard on the former PM as yOLi might think. Chris Mundy. musical director of Tom Blair: The


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Reflections on theatre and apartheid

Athol Fugard is perhaps the poet laureate of South African theatre. Since the 1950s his work has stood as a testimony to resistance to tyranny, with pieces such as Master Harold and the Boys, The Island and Sizwe Bansi is Dead winning multiple accolades and awards internationally. Through the days of apartheid, his work and relentless political activism at times made life uncomfortable for Fugard, yet the exposure of inequality that his work represented seems to have kept him going. Since the rise of the Rainbow Coalition, we’ve seen less of his work on British stages, and on the face of it, the European debut of this 2004 piece appears less instantly political.

The play amounts to a thinly veiled biographical sketch of Fugard’s youthful association with André Huguenet, a noted South African actor of the 505, who struggled, alongside Fugard, to establish a new form of drama. But is it just a tribute to an old friend? Fugard is keen to dispel the notion. ‘To a large extent, it is a memory play, but I’d like to think it’s a lot of things in addition to that,’ he says. ‘The period in

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which I encountered Andre was a very decisive one for me. It certainly found and defined for me the way in which South African theatre had to change, and mutate in terms of its structure, and it certainly has done that. It seemed to reflect a time when the whole country had to make radical changes and departures. This change happened politically, but before it happened to politics it had already happened to theatre.’

Fugard stresses that the play recounts as much a difficult period of history as a story of the old theatre. ‘It was excessively difficult at times,’ he says. ‘To get an audience or a reputable producer for a play was almost impossible. So, with things like my earliest play, Blood Knot, we were reduced to switching a light on and off as our biggest technical requirement. But later it became worse, because as the political atmosphere in the country deteriorated, it became more intolerant. With plays like The Island we were playing in garages to domestic servants before we received any kind of recognition.‘ This IS an affectionate back stage story, but also one of political and aesthetic struggle.

(Steve Cramer) IAsse'rtor‘,’ 9.33”; 62’; 39 r /. 5—2." 21 (/2,

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