A SA theatre classic lands back

The Ugly Noo Noo

The Market Theatre announces the return of Andrew Buckland’s masterpiece of comic physical performance, the acclaimed one-man show, The Ugly Noo Noo. The extraordinary text, which arguably changed the face of South African theatre for many thousands of practitioners and audience members alike, was first presented 36 years ago at the Market Theatre.

The Ugly Noo Noo tells the story of a man’s encounter with an insect. Not just any insect but the notorious Parktown Prawn which inhabited the suburbs of Johannesburg particularly during the 80’s and 90’s. Using sharp satirical commentary, an explosive performance style and Buckland’s unique stage presence, this play takes the audience on an unforgettable journey through the compost heaps and dark underbelly of suburban life in the big city. It examines in splitting comic detail the relationship between fear and power in our everyday lives. Respected arts critique of the day, Barry Ronge, praised the play for making audiences “howl with laughter at the sheer sensual pleasure of theatrical performance.”

Directed by Janet Buckland, this groundbreaking play has garnered 17 national and international awards, including a Fringe First and a Perrier Pick of the Fringe shortlisting at the Edinburgh Festival. The accolades over the years have honoured its script, direction, and outstanding performance.

Drawing inspiration from the irrational fear evoked by the Parktown Prawn, The Ugly Noo Noo delves into how fear is manipulated in times of struggle and difficulty, while also addressing universal human truths. Its relevance and humour endure, making its main theme of irrational fear as compelling today as it was in 1988.

This return of the work to The Market celebrates the remarkable contribution of this pioneering piece to South African Theatre. Artistic Director of the Market Theatre, Greg Homann, says, “It’s a privilege for us at The Market to be able to welcome this play home, retaining Andrew Buckland in the role alongside the works relevance to our current world of fear and uncertainty.” Homann adds, “This season provides an opportunity for an audience who know the work to relive its brilliance, while giving a new audience a chance to witness the unique skills and stage presence of this elder of South African Theatre.”

The fact that the The Ugly Noo Noo is still being played today is a testament to the extraordinary nature of the show and its creators, affirming that more than three decades later, this is theatre that remains as enthralling and funny as ever.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see Andrew Buckland in his seminal role at The Market Theatre from 15 August to 1 September 2024. Bookings are open via Webtickets.

For reduced price block bookings (of 10 or more) and school groups, contact Anthony Ezeoke (Audience Development) at AnthonyE@markettheatre.co.za or 083 246 4950 or Mamello Khomongoe mamellok@markettheatre.co.za 081 572 9612

For media enquiries please contact Lusanda Zokufa (Brand and Communication Manager at the Market Theatre Foundation) at lusandaz@marketheatre.co.za or 011 832 1641 or 072 367 7867.

Sannah Mabokela
011 832 1641
The Market Theatre Foundation