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Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds$
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Lorna Hardwick and Carol Gillespie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296101

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296101.001.0001

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Post-Apartheid Electra: In the City of Paradise

Post-Apartheid Electra: In the City of Paradise

Chapter:
(p.102) 6 Post-Apartheid Electra: In the City of Paradise
Source:
Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds
Author(s):

Elke Steinmeyer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296101.003.0007

In 1998, four years after the first free elections in South Africa, the Cape Town producer (and actor) Mark Fleishman and his team put a new adaptation of the Electra myth on the stage of the Hiddingh Hall theatre on the Orange Street Campus of the University of Cape Town, under the title In the City of Paradise. The play is set against the backdrop of the immediately post-apartheid era in South Africa. This transitional period from a former repressive political system to democracy was a crucial one in South African history. The impact of Greek drama as protest under the apartheid regime has been well documented, but this chapter considers its continuing impact in the new South Africa in the context of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The chapter examines the continuing importance of workshop theatre as a means of individual and community transformation. It addresses the continuing fluidity of myth in modern contexts and argues that free versions of Greek plays have potential to critique easy assumptions about the relationship between truth and reconciliation.

Keywords:   South Africa, apartheid, City of Paradise, Truth and Reconciliation, workshop theatre, myth, Greek drama, reconciliation, democracy

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