Durban Dialogues Dissected: An Analysis of Ashwin Singh's Plays


Dr Felicity Hand (ed)
Autonomous University of Barcelona


Drama, Theatre, Plays, South African Theatre


This volume provides an in-depth analysis of the work of Indian South African playwright Ashwin Singh, which, through the diversity of characters from all ethnic backgrounds, forges an inclusive South African identity. The essays in this volume show how Singh’s plays bring South Africa’s blatant prejudices and social ills to the forefront as only by confronting unpleasant realities can any far-reaching changes actually take place. The academics and cultural practitioners who have contributed to this volume approach Singh’s work from a variety of angles, ranging from history, psychology and experimental literary forms to the performance of the plays, the relevance of the stage directions and the symbiotic relationship between the playwright and the director. The contrast between the climate of optimistic political protest and the complacency and disillusion of the new democratic era is seen to reassess the actions of the past in the light of present outcomes.


  • 1. Introduction
    Ashwin Singh’s Drama: Reconstructing South Africanness
    Felicity Hand
  • 2. An Interview with Ashwin Singh
    Felicity Hand
  • 3. ‘The Cartography of Struggle’ in South African Theatre, with Particular Reference to Reoca Light by Ashwin Singh
    Devarakshanam (Betty) Govinden
  • 4. Ashwin Singh: Egg or Chicken
    A Writer/Director’s Recipe in Interviews and Analysis
    Deborah Arlene Lutge
  • 5. From Rockets to Robots
    The Function of Science Fiction Icons in Ashwin Singh’s Duped
    J. Coplen Rose
  • 6. Exploring Trauma in Post-Apartheid South Africa as experienced by Lead Characters in Ashwin Singh’s plays Shooting, Beyond the Big Bangs and Into the Grey
    Shantal Singh
  • 7. Racial Conflict Presented Through the Plays of Ashwin Singh
    Pranav Joshipura
  • 8. Dilemmas, Disillusion and Resilience in Ashwin Singh’s Into the Grey
    Felicity Hand
  • 9. A Director’s Cut
    Staging the Plays
    Ralph Lawson
  • 10. Afterword
    How to Swing the Game of Life in South Africa
    Pallavi Rastogi

Author Biographies

Dr Felicity Hand, Autonomous University of Barcelona

Senior Lecturer, English Department

Devarakshanam (Betty) Govinden

Literary and educational scholar and poet

Dr Pranav Joshipura, Uma Arts & Nathiba Commerce Mahila College

Academic, researcher and translator

Ralph Lawson

Award-winning South African actor and director as well as an academic

Prof Deborah Arlene Lutge, Durban University of Technology

HOD of Drama and Production Studies

Prof Pallavi Rastogi, Louisiana State University

Associate Professor of English

Prof J. Coplen Rose, Acadia University

Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Theatre

Shantal Singh

Clinical psychologist and academic as well as a theatre and film producer


December 30, 2020


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