Alongside the solo comedian career, the playwright/performer decided to pop up again.
I’d written a fairly Absurd and very
dense solo play, about a dead gangster who was doing contract work for the
Apartheid secret police.
He emerges from his coffin, and tries to work out how come he’s dead. (He doesn’t work it out ultimately, but the audience does, by the play's end).
I don’t have the ‘original’ poster. Instead, here’s the poster, from a later run, slightly spoiled by the tacky addition of the blurb about Grahamstown Festival.
As usual, I’d made a small drawing, and imagined a stylized city nightscape, over which a bat is flying. (Bats feature in the play, as a psychopathic friend of the main character, enjoys catching and eating them).
Naturally a gigantic, clearly unrealistic full Moon is the center-piece of the poster, in my continuing circular motif use.
In addition, the title of the play
appears within stylized clouds - which themselves are the foundation for the
City, which is visible beyond.
With hindsight, I can see that I’m visually and quite clearly telling the audience pretty much everything they need to know about the setting and intention of the piece.
At the time though, it just ‘felt right’ that this would be used to sell and advertise the play.
The piece was partly inspired by some events in my own life. I'd made friends with a bunch of gangsters, living next door to me, who worked for a debt collection agency.
And as trouble started, after my Gandhi play emerged, and then my own unfortunate connection to a woman who turned out to be a police spy - the gangsters next door kept me sane (as well as safe) on a number of occasions, when the police came searching for me.
Oh momma, those were scary and complicated times...
Back to the play itself, I suppose this was my twisted and cheerfully warped way of immortalizing a genre of folks, who generally never got much written about them.
People thought I was exaggerating some of the psycho aspects of the gangsters in the play. If they only knew the truth...