Get swept away by this remarkable local stage adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's 'The Old Man and the Sea'

2019-08-01 16:12
The Old Man and the Sea


Santiago is an old fisherman who hasn’t brought in a catch for 84 days. While the villagers pass judgments on his past and his future, the old man heads far out into the Gulf of Mexico where he hooks a giant marlin. And so, begins his epic battle.


Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea might be a classic of epic proportions, but it sits so comfortably in the intimate space of The Fugard Studio Theatre in Cape Town's historic District Six.

The well-known big fish story is beautifully brought to life on the small stage by the Contagious Theatre troupe and their signature style of masks, physical performance, and innovative set changes.

Their clever and creative solutions to storytelling are mesmerising and effortlessly presented against a natural and raw background that allows the skills of the cast to truly shine. Like a well-choreographed dance sequence, the one-hour production flows from one scene to the next nearly flawless.

Each solitary set-up, character introduction, and intimate moment has been carefully curated to connect but also to stand firmly on its own. The aesthetic of the whole production has a natural driftwood tone to it which is emphasised even more by the muted colour palette of costumes made from linen and wool.

The actors, James Cairns, Taryn Bennett, and Jaques De Silva almost magically transform from one character to the next – bringing with each a uniqueness that is not only comfortably familiar but at times also delightfully humorous.

Allow yourself to be swept away by this stunning theatre production that so delicately and artfully brings to life humanity's struggles with life, death, and everything else in-between.


The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway.

30 July until 24 August 2019

The Fugard Studio Theatre, Cape Town

20:00, with a matinee show on Saturdays at 15:00

Adapted by Nick Warren with Jenine Collocott.

Original soundtrack by Sue Grealy.

Designed and directed by Jenine Collocott.

Tickets from R140 – R160 and are available from The Fugard Box Office

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