(David Smith’s article appeared in the Guardian, 9/1.)

James Ngcobo lands leading role at Market Theatre, which staged protest plays during apartheid era

The Market Theatre in Johannesburg, which opened after the Soweto uprising in 1976, has appointed its first black artistic director. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

When he was cutting his teeth as an actor, the only place James Ngcobo knew equality was on stage. "Towards opening night you sit with the director, getting notes, and then you look at your watch and you just know, 'My last bus has gone, I can't get back home,'" he recalls. "I had moments where you finish rehearsals at night and you go with the white actors and have a glass of wine or two and go and sleep in the park because I didn't drive then, there were no buses going back to the township and sometimes it was dangerous to go back to the township."


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