Written by - and starring - Antony Sher, this stunning play about the assassination of Verwoerd opens the refurbished - and much admired - Almeida Theatre I.D. tells of how one, Demetrios Tsafendas, came to assassinate Hendrik Verwoerd, President of South Africa and the chief architect of Apartheid. We first meet Tsafendas in a mental hospital in 1999, then track back through his life. Born in Mozambique, son of a Cretan father and a 'Cape coloured' mother, Tsafendas fetches up in mid-sixties South Africa, in the grip of new laws on racial segregation. He cannot marry the woman of his dreams because she is classified 'Coloured' while he is W for 'White'. Sickened by this injustice and goaded by his monstrous Doppelganger - a walking manifestation of the giant tapeworm he believes took root in him as a child - Tsafendas stabs the President on the floor of the House in full view of his wife, his bodyguard and a chamber full of MPs. A tour de force of drama, politics and expressionism, I.D. is sensationally good - one of the most exciting playwriting debuts in many years. Directed by Nancy Meckler of Shared Experience fame, I.D. opens the newly refurbished Almeida Theatre with the author himself playing Tsafendas and Alex Fearns (from EastEnders) as his Doppelganger.
Antony Sher was born in South Africa and shot to fame as an actor for his Richard III played on crutches (RSC 1984), which was also the subject of his book, Year of the King. Other roles at the RSC include the Fool to Michael Gambon's Lear, Tamburlaine, Cyrano, Macbeth (with Harriet Walter) and, this year, the leads in two of the RSC Classics that transferred to the West End. He has published three novels, a book of his paintings and drawings and an autobiography, Beside Myself (Hutchinson 2001). He was knighted in 2000.
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- ID: 9781854597540
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