: Hahn (M.)

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52pp., paperback, London, 2017


Preface by former political prisoner Sonny Venkatrathnam. Foreword by South African actor, director, playwright John Kani. Introduction by John Battersby.

The 'Robben Island Shakeseapeare' is a copy of the Alexander edition of the Complete Works that belonged to political prisoner Sonny Venkatrathnam and was secretly circulated, annotated and signed by 34 prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, in the 1970s.

In 2008 and 2010 playwright and scholar Matthew Hahn conducted interviews with eight former political prisoners: Sonny Venkatrathnam, Theo Cholo, Saths Cooper, Eddie Daniels, Michael Dingake, Ahmed Kathrada, Kwedi Mkalipi and Andrew Mlangeni. In this verbatim play he combines these men's first-hand accounts with Shakespeare's words.

Matthew Hahn is a lecturer at St Mary's University in London, as well as a theatre director and theatre for development facilitator.