AMEE LEKAS | African Gothic

African Gothic, written by Reza De Wet, performed at Theatre Arts from 1st - 6th December 2023 for which she won the Fleur du Cap for Best New Director 2023.


African Gothic, de Wet’s most performed play, has a turbulent history. First written in Afrikaans as Diepe Grond it performed to an uproar at Kampustoneel at Rhodes University in 1985. De Wet’s subversion of a well-loved idyllic rural Afrikaans story by Alba Bouwer resulted in a legal case against De Wet which forced her to change the name of her characters. Dark and disturbing, its first professional run the following year at The Market Theatre gave audiences a glimpse into the Afrikaans psyche, exposing the treacherous waters that ran beneath the white Afrikaans apartheid veneer at the height of the State of Emergency.

Written by Reza de Wet
Presented in association with DALRO (Pty) Ltd
Directed by Amee Lekas
Stage and Sound Design by Nell van der Merwe
Lighting Design by Frans Zunguze
Stage Managed by Feiruz and Palesa Raba
Performed by Karli Heine, Siyamthanda Bangani, Celeste Matthews Wannenburgh and Elton Landrew
Photos by Jeremeo le Cordeur
Poster design by Warren Turner
Funded by the National Arts Council

Directors Note
“I chose African Gothic because Reza De Wet wrote this play in a time when it was unheard of to talk about something so dangerous, but real. She exposed the unspoken that probably gave many people sleepless nights. She confronted them with the truth. As a theatre maker and Dramatic Arts Educator, that is what is expected of us. If we don't do it, we are fraudulent.

I am just following by example. It is the reason I chose to work with a diverse team. We are people from different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, time, and different training. It's important for me to remind us artists to see the possibilities to work with different artists. People you would have never thought you would have worked with.

But most of all, I wanted to prove to my learners that they can tell any story they relate to while working with anyone who is willing to be brave with them”.