Theatrical Performance in the 1980s

  • Tom Penfold


This chapter offers a broad overview of 1980s culture and describes how it became a decade of performance. Focusing initially on trade union and worker culture before widening the discussion to other aspects of the anti-apartheid struggle, Penfold shows how those marginalized by apartheid society worked at the boundaries of established genres to perform messages of mobilization. These new forms of literary performance challenged accepted literary conventions and opened new public spaces that temporarily realised liberation. From these locations, poets and theatre companies performed African history and an awareness of the hyper-local. New imaginings of a democratic nation began to coexist with the those previously portrayed in the 1970s.


Alfred Qabula Performance Mzwakhe Mbuli Workers Black theatre Public space 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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