South African premiere of Life & Times of Michael K

Craig Leo and Carlo Daniels in Life & Times of Michael K. PICTURE: Fiona McPherson

JM Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K, adapted for the stage by Lara Foot, in collaboration with the Handspring Puppet Company, will have its South African premiere at the Baxter theatre from Monday February 28 to Saturday March 19, at 7pm, with Saturday matinees at 2pm.

The multi-layered theatrical staging, which combines puppetry, performance, film and music, was postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and stringent lockdown restrictions.

A co-production between Theater der Welt Festival, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Baxter Theatre Centre and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, the South African cast includes theatre legends Sandra Prinsloo, Andrew Buckland, Faniswa Yisa, puppet master Craig Leo, Roshina Ratnam, Carlo Daniels, Marty Kintu, Billy Langa and Nolufefe Ntshuntshe.

Foot will be working with the Tony award-winning Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler from the hit production War Horse-fame, along with the formidable cast and creative team.

The production was invited to debut at the Theater der Welt Festival at the Düsseldorf Theatre, Germany, in June 2019, however, the festival was postponed to June 2021 because of the pandemic and travel restrictions. The world premiere was live-streamed from the Baxter to Dusseldorf and in November 2021 the company travelled to Germany to perform live for the first time.

The story follows Michael K, a simple man who embarks on a journey through South Africa, ravaged by civil war, to return his mother to die on the farm, where she was born. He finds strength in his own humanity, his profound connection to the earth and his unique path which, as it unfolds, reveals to him his reason for living.

All Covid-19 protocols will be in place. Tickets cost from R200 to R250.

Book through Webtickets or at Pick n Pay stores. For discounted block or schools’ bookings and fundraisers contact Leon van Zyl at

  • The season will resume at the Artscape theatre from Wednesday February 23 to Saturday February 26.

The season was cut short in December due to pandemic-related circumstances, forcing the remaining five performances to be rescheduled. Bianca Flanders will reprise her lead role opposite Geon Nel, while Frazer Barry and Riku Lätti will return as the musicians.

Krotoa Eva van de Kaap, written by Sylvia Vollenhoven and directed by Basil Appollis, tells of the young Khoe girl – Krotoa – who was taken into Van Riebeeck’s household at a young age and went on to become a key negotiator and translator between the Dutch and the local people. The play is performed in English, Afrikaans, Dutch and Khoikhoi, with surtitles.There is an age restriction of 10 years.

Tickets cost R100 through Computicket.

Geon Nel, Bianca Flanders and Frazer Barry in a scene from Krotoa Eva van de Kaap. PICTURE: Emdon Video + Photo