Kafka’s Ape

Bonani Tony Miyambo and Phala O Phala in Assoc. with Holden Street Theatres present

An actor hangs upside down from a square frame.

Adelaide Fringe Praise for Kafka's Ape

★★★★★ "The astonishing calibre of the performance will hold you spellbound." - The Advertiser

★★★★★"...a display of masterful acting, It has been a graphic lesson in humanity and an unforgettable experience." - The Barefoot Review

★★★★ ½ "This play is empathy-driven and incredibly powerful. It’s not surprising it has won multiple awards, and hopefully it will continue to travel to more festivals because if art can change the way we think, we’ve got nothing to lose with this play and much to gain." - In Daily

★★★★ "This show is a compelling exploration of identity, appearance, and the truth of the human experience, but it will resonate with anyone who wants to watch an actor be damn good at their craft." - Collage Adelaide

★★★★"Watching Red Peter recall unlearning his ape-ness and culture is heartbreaking – to change all but his fur to fit into a world which doesn’t want him." - Fest Mag

"Miyambo has brought to Adelaide a brilliant piece of solo theatre that stimulates and disturbs, entertains and challenges. The sights and sounds of Red Peter will be in your head for a long time." - Stage Whispers





Adapted from Franz Kafka's short story A Report to an Academy. Kafka's Ape is an award winning solo performance about a primate’s struggle to overcome the confines of captivity. The play takes a metaphorical view on society and highlights the complexities of identity in post-apartheid South Africa and in the human race in general. Red Peter, the ape, embarks on a journey ignited by finding a way out of a cage he was confined to after his capture; a journey in which he contests identity based on outward appearance. Through the journey of Red Peter the play provides a narrative that helps to question the understanding of otherness.

The critically acclaimed theatre production was awarded:

WINNER 2015 Silver Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival

WINNER 2017 Best Public Performance Award at the 2017 HSS Awards

WINNER 2019 Outstanding Performance Award at The Prague Fringe Festival

WINNER 2020 Theatre Weekly Award at FringeWORLD Perth

"This ape speaks about xenophobia, about homophobia, how one is uncomfortable in their own skin. He is a performing ape, but he is not performing because he wants to, he speaks about this as a way out. He wonders what true freedom is, we are all fighting for our freedom...It is an uncomfortable thought for many people – a black man playing an ape. But this is about just that – the play is an allegorical observation of South African society through the eyes of others. Kafka’s Ape presents a conflicting point of view in which traditional boundaries, categories and norms are questioned, in which beauty, harmony and symmetry are usurped by cruelty, dissonance and abnormality. It highlights the complexities of identity in post-apartheid South Africa and the human race in general."- Tony Miyambo, Actor

Fringe World Praise for Kafka's Ape

★★★★★ "I was immediately struck by the intensity of Tony Bonani Miyambos' performance as Red Peter." - Isolated Nation

★★★★★ "I cannot stress how brilliant Miyambo is. He takes the character on fully in a highly emotive and gut-wrenchingly phenomenal performance that bitterly spits in defiance at the history of black performance for white entertainment..." - Fourth Wall Media

9/10 "The script is filled with one-liners of absolute golden wisdom... a must-see for those of us to whom the right to self-identify is of any significance." -X-press Magazine

★★★★½ "Miyambo's performance is evocative and mesmerising, with the apposition of his physical rendering of Red Peter and the articulate dialogue heightened by the sparse staging and dramatic lighting." -Gutter Culture

★★★★½ "Miyambo's performance has such dignity and self-respect that the insight and rare beauty of Kafka's language is a joy to experience." - From the Turnstiles

★★★★ "Thought-provoking, personal, and profound. Kafka's Ape is a performance that will make you laugh, cry, and will stick in your mind long after you have left your seat." - Fringefeed

"Tony Bonani Miyambo's performance is extraordinary." - The Australian

"Tony Bonani Miyambo's searing turn as the ape, Red Peter, amuses and horrifies in equal measure." - Seesaw Magazine

International Praise for Kafka's Ape

★★★★★ "Physical, sympathetic and occasionally grotesque, Mr. Miyambo's reimagining of the short story in 'Kafka's Ape' heightens its inherent theatricality and teases out its complex knot of race and identity." - All About Solo

"There are few occasions where a single performer can tap into the deep emotion of storytelling and ideas to make the audience prickle with feeling and tears. Tony's ape/man does that. This performance deserves full houses and long runs wherever it goes." - Weekend Special

"Experiencing Kafka's Ape is like sitting in a master class about the sunken place." - The Daily Vox

"Ten-out-of-ten piece of theatre." - My View by Robyn Sassen

An actor squats on stage with rolled up suit pants and a cane.

Cast & Crew

Tony B. Miyambo - Red Peter
South African born Tony Bonani Miyambo is a BA dramatic arts graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand and currently works as a freelancer in the television and theatre industry. Some of his credits include numerous award-winning theatre productions some of which have toured to the United States, Czech Republic, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. His highlights include winning the Marta award for the category best actor for his performance in Relativity township stories at the Setkani Encounters festival in Brno Czech Republic, Winning a Silver ovation award at the national arts festival in 2015, the Best Public performance award at the 2017 HSS awards and the Outstanding performance award at the Prague fringe festival for his one man show Kafka's Ape. Tony is also the recipient of the Brett Goldin bursary in 2014 which gave him the opportunity to study with the Royal Shakespeare company in Stratford upon Avon, UK.

Phala O. Phala - Director
Phala O. Phala is a dramaturge, educator, theatre marker and director with 10 years professional experience. He is a Wits University graduate and DFL alumni with Masters in Dramatic Arts. He has directed and acted in numerous industrial theatre, radio drama and mainstream theatre works. Phala has taught at Wits University and examined theatre studies in top South African universities such as University of Pretoria, University of KwaZulu Natal and Tshwane University of Technology.

Kafka’s Ape

An actor on stage in a suit with rolled up pants, a suitcase and a cane.


Genre: Theatre/Spoken Word

Origin: ZA

Rating: M

This show is rated M for Mature Audiences, it contains distressing themes.

Suitable for 15 years and over

Duration: 60 mins

Season: 2020

Dates: 25 Feb - 15 Mar

25 Feb - 1 March 6:00pm

3 - 8 March 6:00pm

10 -14 March 7:30pm

15 Mar: 8:00pm


29 Feb 2:00pm


GA: $25.00

Concession: $22.00

Child: $18.00

Family: $88.00

Group (6+): $20.00

Cheap Tuesday: $20.00

Preview: $18.00

Fringe Member: $19.50

BankSA Customer: $19.50

Companion Card holders welcome.

Venue: The Studio

HST are making every effort to make our performances accessible to all patrons. Accessible seating is available in The Studio.

Don't forget to tag us on social media!
#KafkasApe #TonyMiyambo #HSTFringe2020

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