Andrew Buckland in The Ugly Noo Noo

Andrew Buckland in The Ugly Noo Noo. Photo: Bevan Davis.

South African theatre icon Andrew Buckland returns to The Baxter with his classic hit production, The Ugly Noo Noo, for a limited season from 23 July to 10 August 2024 at 19:30 with matinees on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 and Saturdays at 14:30.

In 1988, Buckland wrote and performed in the one man play, directed by his wife, Janet Buckland, which changed the face of South African theatre. From the day of its opening at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, it was acclaimed as a ‘masterpiece of comic physical performance’ and ‘an exceptional piece of political theatre’.

Buckland reprises his role for this unmissable season, 35 years after he first performed it at The Baxter and in 2010, it was staged here again as part of a trilogy of plays, to critical success.

The Ugly Noo Noo received a total of 17 national and international awards for the script, direction and the performance which included a Fringe First and Perrier Pick of the Fringe short listing accolade, at the Edinburgh Festival, in Scotland.

Legendary arts critic, the late Barry Ronge, at the time, said that it will make you “howl with laughter at the sheer sensual pleasure of theatrical performance.” Daphne Cooper from BizCommunity, described it as “ … high-paced, energetic and hugely entertaining … you are taken on a journey that is so absurd, so clever, so funny, so pointed and so compelling, that you are never going to be the same again.”

“The idea of performing The Ugly Noo Noo again in 2024 at the age of 70, was born from the time spent working to create an annotated text of the work as part of a book and website, to bring the text to a new generation of players and teachers,” explains Buckland. “It struck me that it is still quite funny and with the rampant unapologetic surge of fascism in the world today, it becomes even more relevant than it seemed to be in 1988 when it was first presented, specifically to South Africa.”

He continues, “The journey to reviving it has been challenging and thoroughly enjoyable. It was always a test during the creative process of making works that if it made me laugh, and more importantly, Janet the director laugh, then it had a good chance of sparking some joy in an audience. We’ve been having fun and can’t wait to share it again with audiences.”

Nearly four decades later and it has not lost any of its power, as it deftly and humorously shows how fear can be used to manipulate, dominate, exploit and destroy. It is a slice of South African history interwoven with comedy, featuring the infamous Parktown Prawn, a cockroach!

Andrew was senior lecturer and later professor, at Rhodes University until his retirement in 2017 and is Associate Professor Emeritus. At The Baxter in recent years, he was seen In Life & Times of Michael K, Firefly, The Inconvenience of Wings, Endgame and Tobacco, and the Harmful Effects Thereof and Endgame. He was nominated for a Fleur du Cap Best Actor award for Tobacco, and the Harmful Effects Thereof and won the Best Actor award for the role at Woordfees. He received the Best Actor Fleur du Cap and Naledi awards for Lara Foot’s The Inconvenience of Wings and in 2019 the Fleur du Cap award, for his performance in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame (directed by Sylvaine Strike).

Buckland is a multi-award-winning theatre, film and television actor in classical and contemporary genres. Career highlights include performing as Hamlet for the SABC and being awarded three Fringe First Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He has won over 20 awards in South Africa and internationally.

The Ugly Noo Noo runs at the Baxter Flipside from 23 July to 10 August 2024 at 19:30, with matinees on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 and Saturdays at 14:30.

Booking is through Webtickets online or at Pick ‘n Pay stores. For discounted block bookings, contact Mark Dobson on e-mail or call him on 021 680 3972 or Carmen Kearns on e-mail or telephone 021 680 3993.

For further media enquiries please contact Fahiem Stellenboom on telephone on 021 680 3971 or e-mail or Robyn September on or telephone 021 680 3963.

Fahiem Stellenboom
072 265 6023
Baxter Theatre

Andrew Buckland in The Ugly Noo Noo. Photo: Bevan Davis.
Andrew Buckland in The Ugly Noo Noo. Photo: Bevan Davis.
Andrew Buckland in The Ugly Noo Noo.
Andrew Buckland in The Ugly Noo Noo.