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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.

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

"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

International Praise for Kafka’s Ape

"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

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

Tickets on sale now!

Kafka’s Ape

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