Composers and their stage works 

The Coat

Athol Fugard

A man is sentenced to prison for political crimes. All he has to send back to his wife is his coat. The play was based on improvisations. The first performance was directed by Fugard in Port Elizabeth in 1966. The names of the characters are taken from other roles that the actors had played (Lavrenti and Aniko from Brecht´s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Marie from Woyzeck, Jingi from La Mandragola and Haemon from Antigone.

We are a group of actors from New Brighton. Aniko, Marie, Haemon, Jingi... and I am Lavrenti... Allow me a short word of explanation. There are many confused and even contradictory reasons for our existence as a group. The hunger for applause, boredom, conceit, desperation, even money at one stage...

Fugard says "Then we asked [the actress] what do you do with the coat now you've got it. The wife, the actress playing the wife, said "Well I'm in my house. I've now heard about my husband. I know I'm not going to see him for five years, I've got his coat in my hands, Ill hang it up first, first of all, then go on working. I want to think about him. And the coat".