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Witness History Unfold: "The Unlikely Secret Agent" Opens at The Market Theatre - A Gripping Story of Bravery and Hope in the Face of Apartheid

Johannesburg, South Africa – April 2024 – The Market Theatre proudly presents the highly anticipated production of THE UNLIKELY SECRET AGENT, an award-winning play based on the extraordinary true story of Eleanor Kasrils and her courageous fight against apartheid in South Africa. Prepare to be transported into the heart of the struggle with this critically acclaimed play, running from 16 May to 2 June 2024.

Based on Ronnie Kasrils’ Alan Paton Award-winning book, the production illuminates the remarkable journey of Eleanor Kasrils. Set in 1963 Durban amidst apartheid’s turmoil, Eleanor, an unassuming bookstore worker and single mother, becomes a clandestine operative for the ANC. When her lover, Ronnie Kasrils, a wanted “terrorist,” is pursued by authorities, Eleanor confronts the brutality of the Special Branch. Arrested, interrogated, and targeted by the Security Police, Eleanor must summon all her strength to protect her comrades and plan her escape.

Directed by the acclaimed Paul du Toit, THE UNLIKELY SECRET AGENT is a powerful testament to the human spirit’s resilience. The play not only sheds light on apartheid’s horrors and police brutality but also celebrates the unwavering spirit of those who fought for freedom.

A captivating cast of five actors brings this important story to life. Erika Breytenbach-Marais delivers a powerful performance as Eleanor Kasrils, while the ensemble cast masterfully portrays a multitude of characters, showcasing the era’s complexities. The talented supporting cast, including De Klerk Oelofse, Wessel Pretorius, Sanda Shandu, and Ntlanhla Kutu, adds depth and nuance to the production.

THE UNLIKELY SECRET AGENT has garnered critical acclaim, winning prestigious awards such as the 2022 Fleur Du Cap Award for Best Director for Paul du Toit and the 2023 Fleur Du Cap Award for Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Play for Carlo Daniels. It was also nominated for several other Fleur Du Cap Awards and won Best Production and Best Director at the 2022 US Toyota Woordfees.

Playwright and director Paul du Toit emphasizes Eleanor Kasrils’ remarkable humanity, stating, “Her bravery was quiet, her suffering without self-pity. In the face of senseless violence, she was gentle and witty.” The play not only commemorates South Africa’s struggle for democracy but also sheds light on gender-based violence and police brutality.

“I am thrilled that the dramatic story of a young woman’s courageous battle with the South African security police in the 1960’s, is coming to the stage… You will question yourself – could you have stood up against apartheid as this slender young woman did?” – Ronnie Kasrils

Don’t Miss This Powerful Production – THE UNLIKELY SECRET AGENT promises a captivating and thought-provoking theatrical experience.

Performance Details

Venue: The Market Theatre, Johannesburg

Dates: 16 May to 2 June 2024

Running Time: 90 minutes with a 15-minute interval

Age Restriction: PG14 (contains strong language, racial prejudice, and gender-based violence)

For bookings and inquiries:

For media inquiries, interview requests or press passes contact or call (011)788 7632. High-resolution images and interviews with the cast and crew are available upon request.

Issued by JT Communication Solutions on Behalf of The Market Theatre Foundation –