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Meet The Architect Of Apartheid At Bats

Meet The Architect Of Apartheid And The Man Who Killed Him

It takes two to tango. Prime Minister and assassin. Corpse and culprit. Man and tapeworm. On 6 September 1966 in the South African House of Assembly, Demetrios Tsafendas, a parliamentary messenger, walked up to Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, the Architect of Apartheid, and stabbed him to death with a kitchen knife. Was Tsafendas a heroic political assassin or merely a mad man, driven insane by the tapeworm that lived in his belly?

The Bacchanals are proud present the New Zealand premiere of Antony Sher’s play I.D. a historical fable, a tragi-comic portrait of the mad, bad old South Africa and of two individuals, the Prime Minister and his killer, both searching for the same thing – identity.

Critically acclaimed, The Bacchanals are dedicated to exploring text-based theatre, redefining the classics and presenting the very best new and international works. The Bacchanals firmly believe that there is no room left in the world for plays with nothing to say. Theatre should not be stagnant and boring. Amongst their many successes are the world premiere of Paul Rothwell’s Hate Crimes (“quite simply, brilliant” – The Package); a national tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (“ honestly one of the funniest productions I’ve ever seen” – Capital Times) and the NZ premiere of Sarah Kane’s Crave (“my god, it’s beautiful” – The Package).

Director David Lawrence leads a fantastic cast featuring Malcolm Murray as Tsafendas, Benjamin Fransham as Verwoerd and Alex Grieg as a giant tapeworm with James Stewart, Erin Banks, Miria George, Tony Hopkins, Hadleigh Walker and Salesi Le’ota.

I.D. is a reminder that in the current world political climate, history has a habit of repeating itself …

“A rich, intense, powerful play that scrutinises the former South African apartheid system and reveals the perverse moral madness it represented” - London Theatre Guide

“Moving and uncomfortably comic” – Mail and Guardian

“A compelling portrait both of a complex character and a crazed nation” - The Guardian

Assassination. A word you can taste hey? As-sas-si-nation. A tasty word for a tasty deed. Ass-as-sin-ation. Hear the ass in there and also the sin. Ass-a-sin-nation. Who is the ass, who does the sin and what about the nation?

The Bacchanals present:

I.D. by Antony Sher

Inspired by the book A Mouthful of Glass by Henk van Woerden

Directed by David Lawrence

Tuesday 4 – Saturday 15 October, 7pm

BATS Theatre

04 802 4175 /

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