Robert Whitehead, one of South Africa’s best-loved actors, famously known for his villain role as Barker Haines on SABC 3 popular soapie Isidingo, will take on the challenging role of directing the South African premiere of The Man Jesus at the Market Theatre.
Nominated for the Irish Times Best New Play in 2013, The Man Jesus written by Matthew Hurt, a South African-born playwright whose writing has been produced across the UK and Europe, as well as in America, Australia and South Africa, is an extraordinary play that looks back two thousand years to witness key moments in the life of ‘the man Jesus’, through the eyes of the people who knew him.
Matthew Hurt’s entertaining, thought-provoking and challenging script promises a spellbinding experience about the man who had an enormous and profound impact on the history of mankind. The Man Jesus traces his life from before his birth to after his death through some dozen characters, both male and female, with whom he came into contact.
Performed as a solo play by Lebo Toko, his skill and versatility will see him play a range of up to twelve characters bringing simplicity, humour and understanding (or misunderstanding) to the story of Jesus. Was he a man with magical powers? Was he a prophet with miraculous powers? Or did a few Jews start to realise something else?
‘That, of course, is entirely up to you. Please understand this is a work of imagination. There was no ‘The New Testament’, ‘The Gospels’, ‘The Early Church’ or any such thing which makes what eventually came into being, so fascinating,’ says director Robert Whitehead.
Lebo Toko was last seen on the Market Theatre stage playing George in James Ngcobo’s adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. After a hiatus since 2005 Robert Whitehead will return to the Market Theatre after his last memorable performance in Acropolis Café.