The Unlikely Secret Agent – The story of Eleanor Kasrils

Bookings for shows until 9 August 2022

Artscape Arena, Western Cape

I had the privilege to attend the opening night of The Unlikely Secret Agent at The Artscape Theatre in Cape Town.  It is an excellent play with excellent actors! It is incredible how the men switch roles between various male characters and one even to the role of a woman.  The phenomenal actors are Gideon Lombard, Wessel Pretorius, Sanda Shandu, Ntlanhla Kutu and Erika Marais as Eleonor.

The Unlikely Secret Agent is the story of Eleanor Logan, a young single mother, who is arrested at the bookstore where she works in Durban and taken for questioning. The police was on the hunt for her lover, the “terrorist” Ronnie Kasrils. She finds herself detained under the 90-day detention act and brutally interrogated  -they will “break her or hang her”.

The show is written and directed by the award-winning actor, director and playwright Paul du Toit and is based on the Alan Paton Award winning book, The Unlikely Secret Agent, written by Eleanor’s husband, Ronnie Kasrils. This is the true story of bravery and hope!

Who was Eleanor Kasrils?

Eleanor Kasrils was an anti-apartheid activist. She was one of the first women to be arrested and held without trial under the 90-day detention law in 1963. She managed to escape from custody and fled the country in disguise.

Eleonor received amnesty from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2000 for the bombing of the Durban security police offices, stealing dynamite, destroying electricity pylons, illegally crossing the Botswana border and escaping from police custody.

She was born Eleanor Logan in Scotland. Her family moved to Durban where her father was a bookseller. She went to school in Durban and studied art at the local technical college. She was married and divorced by the age of 24 and raised her daughter Brigid as a single mother.

After the Sharpeville massacre she joined the Congress of Democrats and in the same year she met Ronnie Kastrils. After coming involved with the African National Congress she was detained in 1963 and that led to her escape from custody.

Eleanor was married for 45 year to Ronnie Kasris, South Africa’s former minister of intelligence.  They shared a life on the run from the security forces in exile in Britain.

Follow the link for the full article The Guardian article.

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