The World in an Orange

Barney Simon was the legendary artistic director, writer and co-creator of one of the most important theatres in South Africa and the world – the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.

“An immensely enjoyable and stunningly produced book. This is how a biography and history should be told.” – Mary Jordan, Business Day

“It captures the inexplicable, non-literal essence of theatre at its best.” – Gillian Anstey, Sunday Times

Barney Simon was the legendary artistic director, writer and co-creator of one of the most important theatres in South Africa and the world – the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. South African Nobel prize-winning laureate, Nadine Gordimer, wrote, 'No one knows how many men and women who have become the makers of a unique black theatre and a unique non-racial theatre in South Africa, known all over the world, come from his vision and patient energy as director/writer'. Leading South African playwright Athol Fugard referred to him as 'one of the wise men that the Earth is given in each generation'.

He workshopped, wrote and directed unforgettable and pertinent plays, in his quest to 'hold a mirror up high to society'. He created works that are a testament to South Africa's recent history. But how exactly did he work? This book was conceived and created just after his untimely death. Scores of great South African and international artists record and share what and how they learnt from Barney Simon. He was very well known for his famous 'orange exercise', which he devised and executed. Through this exercise he created, taught and expressed many profound principles of artistic expression. Through a single orange, he communicated lessons of detail, care and respect and so much more.

As such there are 80 testaments from artists about his often-mysterious creative process. This book is essential for students and teachers of theatrical expression, and indeed for anyone who strives to understand their own voice. With full-colour illustrations throughout, this book is a remarkable testament to Barney Simon and his work. With the passing of a decade of democracy in South Africa, The World in an Orange is a record of the last years of apartheid and the role of the arts community in bringing about its decline.

About the Authors
Irene Stephanou
graduated with a BA (Dramatic Arts) Honours from Wits University. She is an award-winning actor, writer, performer and teacher in Johannesburg. She has co-written and performed three one-woman shows, which have toured South Africa and abroad. All her new work has been staged at the Market Theatre.

She developed a course under the supervision of Barney Simon, called 'Theatre and Life', which she still runs at the Market Theatre Laboratory. She organises development workshops in Johannesburg and is currently involved in the staging of her latest play, 'Acropolis Cafe' at the Market Theatre.

Leila Henriques is an award-winning actor who grew up in Johannesburg. After leaving school, she trained at the Oxford School of Drama, and spent two years working at various locations in London, including the Tabard Theatre, which specialised in new writing.

On returning to South Africa she joined the innovative Loft Theatre Company in Durban. But it was at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg where she did some of her most challenging and exciting work. She was directed by Barney Simon in "Silent Movie" and "Hedda Gabler".

Leila lives in Johannesburg, where in addition to being an actor, she is a teacher, writer and mother.

Parameters of Book: Book
Sub-title: Creating Theatre with Barney Simon
Author: Irene Stephanou & Leila Henriques
ISBN: 978119931258
Size (mm): 250x200mm
Pages: 380pp
format: Paperback
Colour: Full Colour
Rights: World;excl. North America
Language: English
Publication Date: 2005-01-01