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Master Harold and the boys

A classic tale of institutionalized racism and bigotry, Master Harold and the Boys is a deep reflection on how victims of discrimination struggled with their sense of identity!

Why You Should Watch Master Harold and the boys

A play that first premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1982, Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the Boys quickly became a beloved Broadway classic. It was presented at the Lyceum Theatre in the same year. Due to its strong symbolic criticism of the apartheid regime in South African , it was initially banned in South Africa. The depiction of a boy morphing from an innocent teenager to a spiteful bigot and racist is heartrending.On occasion, the play has been described as an expression of the writer’s self-loathing and guilt. Much like the character Harold (Hally) in the play, Fugard was also born with the name ‘Harold’. He too had a mother who owned a tea shop and a father who was disabled. Fugard was an adjunct professor of acting and playwriting at UC San Diego and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In this production, Lucian Msamati and Hammed Animashaun deliver a moving performance depicting the plight of black servants in 1950s South Africa.

The Story

The play begins by recounting a particularly rainy afternoon that Hally (Master Harold) spent with his servant Sam and Willie. While Sam has often treated Hally as a child who needs guidance, Willie has always remained the loyal servant, refusing to address Hally in any other manner apart from ‘Master Harold’. Hally returns from school and finds Sam and Willie practicing ballroom steps for their upcoming competition. Their discussions move from schoolwork to historical figures. When Sam mentions that Hally’s mother has gone to the hospital to get his father discharged, the boy’s mood worsens. His father is an abusive alcoholic who delights in making his son perform demeaning tasks. As the situation deteriorates, Hally begins to angrily hurl racist remarks and abuses at Sam and Willie. How will the two servants react? Can they ever recover the friendly relationship they once shared?

Good For

Fans of Athol Fugard | Social Activists | History Buffs

Reviews

“Very well acted... a waltz for worldly harmony.”
- The Guardian

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Know Before You Go

Show Details

Show Timings

8, 9, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20 November, 14 December7:30 PM
9, 16 November, 14 December2:15 PM

Please be on time - Latecomers may not be admitted if no suitable break is available during the performance.

Duration
1 hour 40 minutes, with no interval

Cast
Lucian Msamati as Sam
Hammed Animashaun as Willie

Written by
Athol Fugard

Directed by
Roy Alexander Weise

Additional Information

Audience
Recommended for ages 14 and up.
Children under the age of 2 will not be admitted into the theatre. All viewers under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Available Facilities
Air-conditioned
Wheelchair accessible
In-house bar
Cloakroom

Outside Food
Strictly prohibited. If you'd like to grab a meal before or after the show, check out our guide to the 30 Best Restaurants in West End.

Dress Code
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theatre is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.

Important Information
Photo and video recording are not allowed during the show.

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Strict Cancellation Policy

This experience cannot be canceled, amended or rescheduled.

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My Tickets

You will receive an email confirmation along with your mobile voucher shortly after you book the tickets. You will need to display a photo ID along with your voucher at the Theatre's Box Office to collect your tickets.

Validity
This ticket is valid for the date and time selected at the time of booking.

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