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Menings | Opinion > Onderhoude | Interviews > English

Is there a Malema dilemma? Daniel Galloway discusses The Fugard Conversations

Naomi Meyer - 2011-10-17

Daniel, please tell our readers about the Fugard Theatre in District Six's new series of discussions, the Fugard Conversations. LitNet welcomes events like the ones you are organising, because of our own online conversations, Ricochet. What gave you the idea of conversations in the theatre?

South Africa is in an interesting balance at the moment – there are important issues which need to be discussed and debated. The Fugard Conversations will provide another platform and space for these sorts of mindful debates to take place. I guess the idea came from what is currently happening in our daily news – and a personal desire to “get to know more about it”.

Please tell our readers about your first discussion, which took place on Tuesday, 18 October.

We launched the series with “The Malema Dilemma”, and I am so happy that both Fiona Forde and Ronnie Kasrils agreed to join us to share their thoughts, opinions and insights into (and about) a man who is making headlines all over the world. Is there a “dilemma”? The event has sold really well.

What do you think of the theatre’s role in society – and is this role changing, as society is changing?

The prize-winning question! The theatre performs many functions in our society as and when it is required to: from providing us with a space to escape reality completely to providing us with a space really to get stuck into some unavoidable, real-life issues. It may seem dualistic – but theatre can fulfil these roles, and absolutely everything else in between too! If theatre (in general) can work to bring like-minded and un-like-minded people together then we are on the right track. The sign of a successful theatre is one that is able to change with the society that supports it.

The Fugard Theatre is based in District Six. Does this give you a certain political edge – or has South Africa changed enough for your theatre to have been anywhere in the world? How important is location exactly?

Trading on a potential political edge is a dangerous thing! Being in the heart of District 6 certainly is a great privilege, and we are very mindful of the atrocities which took place here not so long ago. The Fugard Theatre, through presenting a wide variety of our South African cultural landscape, strives to bring top-class and high-quality work and events to anyone who wants to engage with them – and in so doing hopefully will pay tribute to the tremendous heritage of all South Africans. Purely from a practical point of view the Fugard is ideally located – easy access, ample safe parking, dining spots – it’s all here!

What do you hope to achieve with the Fugard Conversations?

A useful dialogue, an intriguing debate; to create a meeting place for people in Cape Town; and simply to showcase the stunning Fugard Theatre and all that it has to offer. Come and have a drink on our rooftop terrace!