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'Master Harold’… and the boys

by Athol Fugard

21 September to 17 December 2019
Running Time: Approx 1 hour, 40 mins without an interval

4 star rating

’Master Harold’ cuts deep. An elegantly powerful revival

Time Out
4 star rating

Extraordinary. Searing and urgent. Lucian Msamati is magnificent

What's On Stage
4 star rating

Absolutely spellbinding. Compelling and remarkable

Daily Telegraph
4 star rating

‘Roy Alexander Weise’s production is as elegant and nimble as the foxtrot. A thing of beauty’

The Times
4 star rating

Packs an incredible punch. A beautifully acted, exemplary production.

Financial Times
4 star rating

Deeply moving. Lucian Msamati gives a superlative performance.


'Master Harold’… and the boys

St George's Park Tea Room, Port Elizabeth, 1950. On a long rainy afternoon, employees Sam and Willie practise their steps for the finals of the ballroom dancing championship.

Hally arrives from school to hide out in his parents’ tea room. These two men have been unlikely best friends to Hally his whole life. But it is apartheid era South Africa: he’s Master Harold, and they are the boys.

Tony Award-winning playwright Athol Fugard’s semi-autobiographical and blistering masterwork explores the nature of friendship, and the ways people are capable of hurting even those they love.

Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night) directs Lucian Msamati (Amadeus) and Hammed Animashaun (Barber Shop Chronicles) as Sam and Willie.

Please note: As part of depicting the experience of 1950s apartheid South Africa, at times characters in the play use language which is racially offensive; for more information please contact us via our Help centre.


This production has been generously supported by Monica Gerard-Sharp and members of the 'Master Harold'…and the boys Production Syndicate who include:
Keith Bolderson, Camilla Cazalet, Sir Mick & Lady Davis, Mrs Juliet Gibbs, Clifford & Sooozee Gundle, Dr Elizabeth T S Houang, Hugh & Catherine Stevenson, and The Ury Trust


Talks and events

The Radical Nature of Black Joy in Theatre Fri 15 Nov, 6pm
Hammed Animashuan, Anson Boon and Lucian Msamati on 'Master Harold'... and the boys Mon 18 Nov, 3pm
Designing 'Master Harold'... with Rajha Shakiry

'Master Harold'... and the boys | Teaser trailer

Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night) directs Lucian Msamati (Amadeus) and Hammed Animashaun (Barber Shop Chronicles) in Athol Fugard's blistering masterpiece.

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'Master Harold'... and the boys | Audience Reactions

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'Master Harold'... and the boys | Learning to Ballroom Dance

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Smart caption glasses

People wearing Smart Caption Glasses at a performance in the theatre

Smart caption glasses are a revolutionary new way for people with hearing loss to enjoy performances at the National Theatre. For the first time, service users can experience our productions, including this one, from any seat in any theatre.

Find out about smart caption glasses

Master Harold... and the Boys ticket prices and Access performances

Ticket prices

Monday - Thursday eves, all matinees
*£86, £66, £57, £46, £32, £15
Friday & Saturday eves
*£89, £69, £60, £52, £35, £20

Access performances

Audio-described performances, for blind and visually impaired people:
Fri 1 November, 7:30 pm
Sat 2 November, 2:15 pm, preceded by a Touch Tour at 12.45pm

Captioned performances, for deaf or hard-of-hearing people:
Tue 29 October, 2:15 pm
Sat 9 November, 2:15 pm
Sat 16 November, 2:15 pm


*Some of the best seats in the house are premium priced. They help to ensure we can continue to offer low price seats for all our productions; the National Theatre is a charity and only 17% government-funded. This year nearly 30% of our tickets are available for £20 or less.


Production team

Photography (Lucian Msamati and Hammed Animashaun) by Sebastian Nevols

Help Centre

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets