Cadre examines the meaning of the fight for freedom

This article is from 2013


credit: Ruphin Coudyzer

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe production is by South African playwright and actor Omphile Molusi

With the world’s media camped outside Mandela’s hospital, it’s an important time to revisit the history of his nation’s civil rights movement. In his follow-up to 2008’s Fringe First-winning Itsoseng, playwright and actor Omphile Molusi presents an epic story of one black South African activist’s struggle from the 1960s to the present day. ‘I’m exploring issues of land, race and humanity,’ he says, ‘what we call in South Africa ubuntu. Cadre is inspired by my uncle’s life, and one thing he said to me was the famous quote (by the German philosopher Hegel): “The only thing we ever learn from history is that we never learn anything.”’

It’s a situation that the world at large, pacified by the memory of apartheid’s end, should be made aware of. ‘Currently in South Africa we act like we don’t understand what we fought for,’ says Molusi. ‘This year we celebrate a hundred years of the Native Land Act, yet many who were thrown out of their own land don’t have it back. Poverty has risen since democracy. Cadre is about the sacrifices individuals made in order for South Africa to change, but also a reminder that Mandela wasn’t the destination − he was the beginning.’

Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, 4−25 Aug (not 5, 12, 19), times vary, £18−£20 (£13−£15). Preview 3 Aug, £13 (£6).

Cadre at Chicago Shakespeare Theater


  • 3 stars

Countries go through times of turmoil when in transition from one of governing to a new order. They consist of many giant and individual struggles. But what happens when the future you meet is not the one that you were expecting? Cadre is one such South African story of dreams and change. Omphile Molusi is one of South…