A new play byJohn Kani
Directed byJanice Honeyman

Newhouse Theater

"I paid for this freedom. They must never forget the little people like me - who make up the majority that has kept them in power and will still do so for a long time to come. We have dreams, too."
John Kani

Following sold-out engagements throughout South Africa, LCT produced the American premiere of NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH at the Newhouse. Written by John Kani and directed by Janice Honeyman, NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH is an exploration of the strained and complex relationship between those blacks who remained in South Africa to lead the struggle against apartheid and those who returned victoriously to South Africa after living in exile.

When the play had its premiere in July 2002 at the National Arts Festival in South Africa, it was hailed by critics as one of the most significant theatrical works of the post-apartheid era and was embraced by audiences rocked by the play's blend of intimacy, honesty and command.

In New Brighton, South Africa, 63-year-old Sipho Makhaya, Assistant Chief Librarian at the Port Elizabeth Public Library, has watched his life of dashed hopes slip by. Initially interested in becoming a lawyer after finishing high school, Sipho instead felt obligated to help pay for his younger brother, Themba, to attend university. Sipho's anger and resentment toward Themba, brewing since childhood, comes to a head when Themba dies while in exile in London after gaining a reputation as a hero of the struggle against apartheid.

As NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH begins, Sipho and his daughter Tando are preparing for the arrival of Themba's daughter, Mandisa, as she travels for the first time from England to South Africa with her father's body for burial. At the same time, Sipho is waiting to learn whether he will be appointed to the position of Chief Librarian, a promotion that has been his life-long dream.

Sipho's daughter and niece inundate him with questions about people he has refused to talk about for decades: Sipho's brother, whom he never saw or spoke to after he went into exile; Sipho's wife, who left Sipho and Thando almost thirty years ago; and Sipho's son, who was killed during the student uprisings. Provoked by Mandisa's and Tando's relentless curiosity, Sipho finally succumbs and decides to divulge to them his secrets, telling them the whole truth and nothing but the truth.