Sizwe Bansi is Dead by Athol Fugard
La Mamas, 205 Faraday St, Carlton VIC 3053, 4th - 6th December 2014
About Sizwe Bansi
Sizwe Bansi is an African worker whose passbook is not in order, walks into the photograph studio of Styles, another African. Without a proper passbook, Sizwe Bansi cannot work and therefore cannot support his wife and four children. Returning drunkenly from a bar one night, Sizwe Bansi and his friend, Buntu, stumble across the body of a dead man whose passbook is in order. Photographer Styles attaches Sizwe Bansi's photo to the dead man's passbook. So Sizwe Bansi "dies" by taking on the dead man's identity and so, too, lives again so he can support himself and his family.
It is a wonderful and most necessary tale of humanity and compassion at a time when Australia's gyrating with boat numbers, digitalisation and Cate The Great. Fugard's township play exposes the struggle for freedom and identity and raises the mirror to our desensitised selves and asks the profound question, “Have we turned into oppressors?”