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Theatre Writing and Performing

Shades of Brown | Jo'Burg Messiah | The Cape Orchard | Shaloma | The Zulu and The Zeide


"SHADES OF BROWN" - Jannie Veldsman and his struggle with the Boer": a play for two male actors set in the 1970's in Western Coloured Township (script available from the author: mike.picardie@michaelpicardie.co.uk)

Performing rights for this and other plays and production royalty details available from the author.


"The language is powerful, sardonic and at times verges on poetry in its intensity. Remarkably impressive"
Milton Shulman (EVENING STANDARD 9/10/79)

"A fine humanitarian play, low on propaganda and strong on good sense."
NOW 19-25 November 1979

"Shades of Brown' is a deeply felt, truly passionate drama, controlled by serious, sober thought. It is developed with technical command; the characters are real, vital and moving; within the compass of a two-hander play is shown a large world of cruelty, suppression, danger and misery."
THE STAGE 18/10/79

"Shades of Brown' is a remarkable play which manages in one evening to tell you more about the tortured observance of today's South Africa than innumerable history lessons or political tracts and does it with simple, humorous insight which is theatrically stunning and psychologically unnerving"

"JO'BURG MESSIAH"- first produced by the Sherman Arena Company at the Sherman Theatre and at the Oxford Festival of Theatre 1980. A political activist is hanged at Pretoria Central Prison and the impact of the liberation struggle on a Jewish family in Johannesburg . Partly based on Hugh Lewin's prison autobiography "Bandiet". Acting script (and songs arranged by John Matshikiza and Molefe Pheto) available from the author: mike.picardie@michaelpicardie.co.uk

"THE CAPE ORCHARD" (1987) set in pre-liberation South Africa about property, and ideologies of struggle for two male and three female actors (Text for performance protected by copyright available from the author: mike.picardie@michaelpicardie.co.uk


"What I find fascinating about [The Cape Orchard] is that it takes the South African question a stage further, theatrically, by suggesting that the crucial issue is the ownership of the land" Michael Billington (THE GUARDIAN 10/12/87)

"[The Cape Orchard] is a play of literary intelligence, fierce rational despair and sharp, realistic questioning." John Peter (THE SUNDAY TIMES 13/12/87)

"Michael Picardie's achievement is to try to give them all - descendents of the old Zulus, Xhosa, Basuto Bushmen, Boers, émigré European Jews, Coloureds a fair voice [Also] hope.. (and hope is revolutionary)." Carole Woddis (CITY LIMITS 17/12/87)

"SHALOMA" was written and performed in the early 2000s".


"I was gripped by the storyline, the dialogue, the superb acting of both parts and the very simple, but clever production that allowed personal and global stories to be told" Judith Shanklemam (Cardiff, 6/4/03)

"The need to move on from Holocaust as justification relates to the paradox of Jewish settlers displacing Palestinians in the 1920's and ‘30's and in 1948. The play is about victims and resonates strongly with present day issues in the Middle East."
Stella Lightman (Cardiff, 6/4/03)

"THE ZULU AND THE ZEIDE" (2004) a tragic-comedy (inspired by the short story of Dan Jacobson) for a solo actor or group set in Johannesburg in 1952 about a Jewish family and African people. Acting script, performing rights and royalty details available from the author: mike.picardie@michaelpicardie.co.uk


"Picardie held the stage alone and brilliantly with his multitude of players and his achievement was immense" John Fisher (JEWISH TELEGRAPH, Leeds , 9/7/04)

"In "The Zulu and the Zeide" we meet a variety of characters which people an almost empty stage. The play is set in apartheid South Africa , with flashbacks to eastern Europe and South America and each location is beautifully evoked. It is, however, in the range and depth of the characters which make this play a tour de force The South African woman selling her produce was particularly well drawn as was the Zulu It was, above all, the Jewish grandfather, the Zeide of the piece who carried the play." (Richard Watson EVERYMAN THEATRE MAGAZINE, Cardiff , January 2004)