Award winning script No Easter Sunday For Queers by Koleka Putuma, to make its debut at the Market Theatre


 NO EASTER SUNDAY FOR QUEERS follows the hate crime murder love story of Napo and Mimi. The lovers, through the spirit, subconscious, Easter Sunday sermon, return on the anniversary of their wedding death crucifixion to make the church pastor perpetrator Father reconcile reckon with the present and the past and a sacrifice crucifixion he must account for. The alter is a cross and the subconscious a court room where the dead seek justice for a an act sin committed by their perpetrators. The antagonist protagonists cannot any more tell the past from the present and scripture from the truth. Every year, through the visitations on Easter Sunday the pastor and his church is made to remember.


 NO EASTER SUNDAY FOR QUEERS the play, is a continuation and adaptation of a poem by the same name published in Collective Amnesia (2017), an award winning collection of  poems by Koleka Putuma.  The poem is addressed to Putuma’s father who is a preacher and orthodox Christian. The letter, which is in the form of a poem, asks him, the father, if he would preach about her, if she were murdered and crucified like Jesus Christ. It asks if he would preach about her death with the same passion and commitment he exhibits when he preaches about Jesus Christ, someone he has never met, let alone raised.

The play explores the relationship between Napo and her Father, Pastor Nkosi and Napo’s lover, Mimi. At the beginning of the play the two lovers are deceased and return, through the subconscious of the father, on the anniversary of their death which coincides with Easter Sunday. The lovers return to recount their death in their own words and to insist that the church and father do not forget how and why they died.

The play aims to name and emphasise the murder of queer people, specifically lesbians, as hate crimes. The statistic of hate crimes in South Africa is outrageously high and most of them go unrecorded and unaccounted for, and they are often recorded as just deaths or crimes and not categorised as a result of hate for LGBTQI communities or crimes justified by religious beliefs endorsed by a justice system that does not protect or recognise queer lives. The play also aims to highlight the complexities of hate crimes and other forms of violence within our most intimate relationships; our families and religious communities, and how those relationships are sometimes the leading causes of hate crimes and the lens through which broader South African society sees and persecutes queer love.  The play emphasises how the lives of queer people are often in danger in so-called sacred and safe spaces, and it  asks the church and religious communities to examine their complicity in the perpetuation of hate crimes and the persecution of queer lives.


 The play was first developed in 2017 under the CASA Award, (a collaboration between the Playwrights Guild of Canada Women’s Caucus and the African Women Playwrights Network), under the mentorship of Canadian playwright Diane Flacks and Johannesburg based, Zambian theatre maker and scholar, Mwenya Kabwe. The play was further developed as part of the Imbewu Trust playwrighting award in 2018. It has recently won the 2019 Distell Playwrighting Award and will make its debut at the Market Theatre in August 2019. An excerpt of No Easter Sunday For Queers, directed by British Nigerian theatre maker, Femi Elufowoju Jr. will be staged at the Roundhouse in London as part of the Global Black Voices; excerpts of plays by black writers from around the globe in August 2019. The play will also be published by Junkets later this year.

No Easter Sunday For Queers will premier at the Market Theatre for a limited season 20 – 25 August at the Mannie Manim; and it is presented in co-operation between the Market Theatre Foundation and the National Arts Festival and is supported by Distell.


Playwright                                                      Koleka Putuma

Directed by                                                     Mwenya Kabwe

Music Director                                                Nhlanhla Mahlangu

Projection and Sound Design                         Nicola Pilkington

Lighting Design                                              Jade Bowers

Costume and Set Design                                Thando Lobese

Stage Manager                                                Campbell Meas



Lunga Radebe

MoMo Matsunyane

Tshego Khutsoane

Khanyisile Ngwabe

Tumeka Matintela



Amukelani Mabaso

Asime Nyide

Chaunees Bokaba

Kgomotso Moshia

Kgothatso Makwala

Khanyisile Zwane

Lesedi Nkosi

Melusi Molefe

Moagi Kai

Nicola Niehaus

Okuhle Ngxe

Philangezwi Nxumalo

Pretty-boy Sekhonto

Rethabile Headbush

Scout Fynn

Siphesihle Fakude

Sydney Ndlovu

Tebogo Malapane

Thuthukani Lombo

Tshepo Matlala


Age Recommendation                 13 years

Season:                                      Tuesday 20 – Sunday 25 August 2019

Venue:                                        Mannie Manim

Performance times:                     Tuesday – Saturday @20h15 and Sunday @15h15

Ticket prices:                               Tuesday – Sunday R90.00 – R150.00

Student Prices:                            R70.00


To make block bookings, please contact Anthony Ezeoke 011 832 1641ext 203/

083 246 4950, Chipo Cherova 011 832 1641 ext 326/ 079 656 2340 and Jabulisile Mofolo 011 832 1641 ext 204/ 083 203 0531

For further information, interviews and images, contact:

Lusanda Zokufa, Senior Publicist
Market Theatre 011 832 1641 ext 202 or 072 367 7867