Theatre Review: The Train Driver – Tracking The Changes, Or No (Happy) Country For Old Men


Dawid Minaar and John Kani (Photographer: Brett Rubin)


The Train Driver / Directed by Charmaine Weir-Smith / Mannie Manim Theatre, Market Theatre, Newtown, Johannesburg                     7

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With The Train Driver being one of Athol Fugard’s more recent plays – it premiered in 2010 – it might be expected that some of the playwright’s long-established themes (politics and race relations, primarily) might have been shifted to the periphery, somewhat. That is the case to some degree, with the piece being an intimate two-hander built around the tragic suicide of an unseen third character. But the us-and-them narrative remains, arguably – in just a couple of spots in the script – to the detriment of the play.

The story concerns Simon (John Kani), an elderly black labourer whose job is to bury unclaimed bodies in a bare piece of ground in a township cemetery, where he has to deal with, among other threats, gangs of violent youngsters and roaming street dogs. Into his life stumbles…

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Bruce Dennill

Writer. Reader. Singer. Songwriter. Believer. Likes to learn.

All content by Bruce Dennill first published on pARTicipate, republished with permission.
Bruce Dennill

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