This year beloved SA playwright Athol Fugard celebrates his 85th birthday. To mark the milestone, a new production of his acclaimed The Road to Mecca has just opened, appropriately, at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town. Another local treasure, Sandra Prinsloo, plays Miss Helen, a role created by Fugard for the late Yvonne Bryceland. The play, written in 1984, was adapted for film in 1992. It was the first movie Fugard directed (and starred in, too, as Rev Marius Byleveld). In this production Marius Weyers plays that role. He and Prinsloo were last seen on the Fugard Theatre stage together in Wie’s Bang vir Virginia Woolf? The role of Elsa Barlow is played by the "brilliant young Emily Child", as Eric Abraham, founding producer of the Fugard Theatre, describes her. The Road to Mecca script was inspired by Helen Martins, who lived in the tiny Eastern Cape town of Nieu-Bethesda and created The Owl House, a crushed glass-covered provincial heritage site. The play centres on "a woman’s des...

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