We sit almost four decades later sharing bowls of fragrant curry at Theresa’s restaurant at The Baxter. The actors, now in their 60s, recall the heady but politically treacherous days of performing this anti-apartheid satire at the height of Nationalist Party rule.
While South Africa was a pariah state they performed the show thousands of times, they say, travelling the world with this hard-hitting show. In South Africa they were harassed by the security police, especially as they took it to all the major township venues and hundreds of schools where children hungrily devoured the message of a new Christ coming and the characters he meets in apartheid South Africa. (Today it is a school setwork and thousands of children have seen the play.)
In travelling to dozens of destinations overseas, it raised massive support for the Struggle against apartheid.
The actors skilfully use their voices and portray everyone from a little boy to an old woman to tell their story. Their synchronicity and artistry in mimicking sounds and using few words to get that powerful message across is remarkable as they raise a police siren, create a hair razor, use their hands to show a needle being threaded, a group of policemen raiding a home - creating a world of reality on stage - some moments more whimsical; some more brutal.