Composers and their stage works 

A Lesson from Aloes

Athol Fugard


The play was written in the 1960s but first performed in 1978. Fugard directed the premiere in Johannesburg. He would later direct Zakes Mokae and James Earl Jones in the play.

The play seems to start off as a domestic drama with husband and wife Piet and Gladys expecting visitors.

Piet´s life was changed when he joined a political demonstration, but now he is suspected of being a police informer. The visitor Steve is an activist but he is giving up his politics to go into exile. They meet to say goodbye. But Gladys has her own torments

"I've discovered hell for myself. It might be hard for you to accept Steven, but you are not the only one who has been hurt. Politics and black skins don't make the only victims in this country"

Fugard told actors "Piet and Steve are victims of a system they have tried to resist, something man-made, whereas Gladys is God's victim" (from Bare Stage)