RIVERSIDESTUDIOS presents the MOFFIE stage play: Image: Supplied

Riverside Studios presents world premiere of ‘MOFFIE’ stage play

“MOFFIE” delves into toxic masculinity and trauma in post-apartheid South Africa, reflecting on past scars shaping present and future.


RIVERSIDESTUDIOS presents the MOFFIE stage play: Image: Supplied

MOFFIE – the world premiere stage adaptation of André Van de Merwe’s searing autobiographical novel – will play Studio 3 at Riverside Studios from Wednesday, 5 June to Sunday, 30 30 June 2024, with a press night on Friday, 7 June. 

‘Moffie /ˈmɒfi/a South African slur for a gay man

Presented by The Fugard Theatre Archive in association with The Common Humanity Arts Trust (CHAT) South Africa, Moffie is South African playwright Philip Rademeyer’s adaptation of André Carl van der Merwe’s biographical novel about his time as a conscript in the apartheid era South African Defence Force into a dramatic monologue, performed by rising star Kai Luke Brümmer.

Kai Luke Brümmer: Supplied

Brümmer will reprise his role as ‘Nicholas van der Swart’, the character he portrayed in South African director Oliver Hermanus’s critically acclaimed 2019 film adaptation of the novel, in which Screen Daily described his performance as “Triumphant. Kai Luke Brümmer a magnetic centre of an extraordinary young ensemble cast.” 

It’s 1979 and South Africa’s government’s main concern is keeping Southern Africa free of communism, to protect the Afrikaner people, Christianity, and the free world. To do this, they need bodies, and seventeen-year-old Nicholas van der Swart is conscripted into the South African Defence Force and finds himself in the dark heart of a regime that demands absolute conformity, brute masculinity, racism, and bigotry.

Set against the backdrop of apartheid South Africa, “MOFFIE” traces Nicholas’s struggle against societal expectations and his internal battle to discover his own identity amidst the violence of South Africa’s border war, which took place between 1966 – 1989.

Facing the dread of being labelled a ‘moffie’ – a derogatory term for being gay – and the risk of being outed and the ever-present fear of exposure, “MOFFIE” is an exploration of toxic masculinity and trauma, highlighting how, 30 years into South Africa’s democracy, the emotional wounds inflicted during those turbulent times persist, offering a reflection on the lingering scars of the past and their influence on the present and future.

Greg Karvellas, the former Artistic Director of The Fugard Theatre in Cape Town, directs with designs by Niall Griffin and Sound Design by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, the former Musical Director of The Fugard Theatre. 

”The much-lauded 2019 Oliver Hermanus film adaptation of ‘MOFFIE,’ was a deeply affecting portrayal of a dark chapter in South African history, seldom discussed by the tens of thousands of now old, white South African men who were traumatised by the brutality of their experience as boys. ‘Moffie’ is a South African slur for a gay man, and it was a weaponised to shame white South African males into submission in defence of apartheid in the1980’s. Bringing this story to the London stage offers an opportunity to engage with its themes through the medium of a powerful dramatic monologue in this 30th anniversary year of South Africa’s democracy”

Greg Karvellas – Director

Tickets are priced at £25 for general admission and £19.50 for concessions. 

NOTE: Audience discretion is advised due to mature themes addressed in the play, which include bigotry, descriptions of violence, sexual assault, child abuse and suicide. 

Tickets are now on sale. 

For further information and interviews please contact: Arabella Neville-Rolfe for ANRPR on 07815025364, or contact The South African website.


SHOW: Moffie

DATES: 5 to 30 June 2024

VENUE / SPACE: Studio 3, Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline Street, W6 9BN

PERFORMANCE TIMES: Tuesday – Sundays (Tuesday – Friday 19:45) Saturday (14:00 & 19:45) Sunday (14:00)

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes (no interval)

TICKETS: £25 general admission, £19.50 concessions