Acclaimed Plum Tree returns to Foxwood Theatre


Artsvark Presser

Artsvark Presser is directly connected to the South African Arts Community, and spits out press releases and other news as passed on by community members.
Artsvark Presser

Plum TreeA 13-year-old boy – wide-eyed, innocent, his life ahead of him – receives a pen as a gift and his whole life changes.

Plum Tree – the story of a boy’s journey – lost innocence, betrayal and violation and the transformation of these adversities into growth, empowerment and riches, has two performances scheduled at Foxwood Theatre in Houghton on Friday 20 July and Friday 27 July at 20:00.

- Advertisement -

Plum Tree is written and acted by Jan Groenewald and directed by Godfrey Johnson and tells the story of a young boy whose life changed with the gift of a pen! The pen re-writes his destiny; he faces a set-back but tackles this challenge with a strong certainty that he will survive and make a difference in the world

This thought-provoking production has been enhanced by the addition of harpist Chris van der West, who provides sensitive and intuitive background musical accompaniment to Groenewald’s play.

Van der West has performed at numerous national and international tours, arts festivals, concerts in the Seychelles, Holland, Dubai and Macau with some of the finest singers and musicians from South Africa and the UK.

Plum Tree stars Jan Groenewald (Photo by Tony Garland)
Plum Tree stars Jan Groenewald (Photo by Tony Garland)

Groenewald re-creates his world as a young boy who resorted to intertwining fantasy with reality to escape what he did not want to confront. Told with warmth and humour, the text reaches far beyond this childhood experience – it becomes a tense battle between good and evil, and ultimately a story of sweet revenge.

‘It takes tremendous strength to confront the demons of society but sharing it in Plum Tree has brought healing,” says Groenewald.

He wrote the original, Pruimboom, in 2014 while receiving chemotherapy for cancer. He celebrated his recovery by taking Pruimboom to South African festivals. In 2015 it was translated by Clive Rodel into English; in 2017 Plum Tree, the English version, premièred at the Foxwood Theatre, then enjoyed a run at Artscape in Cape Town and then the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where it received critical acclaim.

“One of the most powerful shows we’ve seen so far (at the Fringe) is Plum Tree by Foxwood Theatre from South Africa … Jan Groenewald is a 70-year-old man, who tells a true story … It’s a harrowing tale … told brilliantly”. Jeremy Nicholas, UK broadcaster; “Beautifully crafted and performed tale – a harrowing story, yet I left the performance filled with courage and hope. Well worth a visit.” Fiona Bennett – St Augustine’s Church Edinburgh, August 2017.

Chris van der West
Chris van der West

And in South Africa: “Plum Tree is a provocative tour-de-force of innocence lost. It’s the heart-wrenching journey of a young man’s ability to transform adversity, betrayal and violation to growth, empowerment and riches. Plum Tree is courageous.” Brenda Kali; “Plum Tree is ‘n merkwaardige stuk en die moeite werd om te gaan kyk. Ek beveel dit regtig aan”. Johan Krige; “Jan Groenewald is a master storyteller; he drew me into his world as a 13-year-old. I could literally see and smell and experience his life – his love for athletics, his hate for MISTER Plum”. Theresa du Preez

Plum Tree – Friday 20 and 27 July 2018 at 20:00

Tickets: R150 / R130 pensioners and students / R110 – groups (10+)

Bookings: – (for booking queries (block and corporate bookings) please contact Theresa du Preez, / 082 712 5680.

Listen to Chris van der West chatting to Renos Spanoudes on Hellenic Radio 1422AM about Plum Tree –

And for book-lovers, also on Friday 20 July at 6 pm: Foxwood House will host the celebrated author Petrovna Metelerkamp at a book signing of her new book, Ingrid Jonker, ‘n Biografie. Books will be on sale. This is a free event and the general public is invited to attend. A 3-course meal (set-menu) R180 can be booked.

Foxwood House / Foxwood Theatre, 13, 5th Street (not avenue), Houghton Estate, Johannesburg (GPS: 26′ 09′ 44, 28″S 28′ 03′ 10, 19″E) 011 486 0935 / / website:

Leave a Reply