Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela’s book A Human Being Died that Night about her interviews with the jailed commanding officer of apartheid death squads, Eugene de Kock, has been adapted for the stage by Nick Wright and is currently on at the Hampstead Theatre in London.
The play, directed by Jonathan Munby, will be coming to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria next year. Gobodo-Madikizela is played by Noma Dumezweni and Matthew Marsh, who stared as FW de Klerk in End Game, takes on the role of De Kock.
Munby told The South African that it made sense to premiere in London as there are “thousands of South Africans” who live there, but he also emphasised the universality of A Human Being Died that Night: “The nature of evil and the possibility of forgiveness is an extraordinary message”.
How did you get involved in this project?
The producer Eric Abraham gave me a copy of Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela’s book while I was doing my play The Number at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town. He sensed it would make a terrific piece of theatre. I read the book and was blown away by it. Eric put me in touch with Nick Wright, who at that point had already written a draft script. I’m not South African, I’m English – that gave me a sort of objectivity, while Eric, Nick and indeed Pumla were close to the subject matter.
- A Human Being Died that Night: A story of forgiveness by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
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Image courtesy The South African