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The Road to Mecca

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  196 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A South African pastor and a young teacher from Cape Town battle over the fate of an eccentric elderly widow.
Audio Cassette, 0 pages
Published October 10th 2001 by LA Theatre Works (first published 1985)
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John David
Helen, whose husband’s death has caused her to stave off various bouts of depression and battles with, to use her word, “darkness,” has recently re-discovered her gift for sculpture. Her back yard – which Helen calls her Mecca - is full of bright, colorful, life-sized figures of biblical wise men, birds, and anything else her imagination encourages her to make. One of Helen’s only remaining friends, Elsa, pays her a surprise visit from Cape Town. During their discussion, Helen mentions that the ...more
Tony
Fugard, Athol. THE ROAD TO MECCA. (1985). ****. This play by Fugard is set in South Africa in the region known as the Karoo. It tells the story of an elderly woman who has spent years since her husband’s death transforming her home in this isolated town into an intricate and dazzling work of art. Unfortunately, the other members of her community don’t view it the same way. To them, it is a departure from the customary way of living. Statues in the front lawn depicting fanciful creatures and owls ...more
James F
Another powerful play by Athol Fugard; two acts, three characters. This is about two women, a seventy year old widow from a small town and her young schoolteacher friend from Port Elizabeth. The third character is the widow's minister. The play deals with many different issues, more about personal choices and personal freedom than politics this time (except in the sense that everything is political.) I can't summarize it without spoilers. Despite the title, it is not about Moslems or even religi ...more
Virginia Morgan
This play quickly brings together some large themes- racial inequality, religious beliefs, female relationships - in a South African historical setting. It's a quick read but did not inspire me.
Nerine Dorman
This has lost none of the impact it had when I was at school. Seems fitting that this is set work for my degree modules.
Zuki Bolani Buthelezi
Couldnt put the book down. The story is engrossing and so poetic. Athol Furgard is a literal genius forever and day!
Tess Lively
3.5/5

I don't know how much I would've liked seeing this play, maybe if it was done very well, but I absolutely enjoyed reading it. It's very heart warming and beautifully worded.
Mom
This is a beautiful play. It was reccommended to me by Kat.
a friend of hers in Madison is doing the play there.

Basically, the story of one woman's search for enlightenment (Mecca) through her art. It's based on a true story. Helen did exist. She lived in South Africa and the playwright who bought a home in the town she lived in became fascinated with her story.

It's also a movie which Kathy Bates did in 1992. If I can find it I'm going to buy it.
Dylan
A touching statement on the roles which faith and creativity play in the endurance of the human spirit. This was the second Fugard play that I read, and was once again astounded by his command of character and realistic dialogue. Through his telling of Helen's story (the seemingly 'crazy' yet wildly imaginative old woman at the center of the story)we are shown a remarkably important moment in the lives of several people.
Jessica
A play that is mostly just two women that isn't about rape or men or stereotypical 2 women play things! My heart is rejoicing. This play is beautiful and touching and infuriating and boy was I invested! It has some really meaty roles to dig into. Women: 28 yr old character with amazing monologue prospects in here. Seriously! I think I might add this to the plays I want to direct list...
Thing Two
Very short but moving play set in 1970s South Africa and centered around the struggles of one woman - Miss Helen - as she's pulled in two differing directions by the two closest people to her. It's man vs. woman, young vs. old, religious vs. secular with a world vision beyond her small town. I saw the play and cried - very moving.
Andrew
A very interesting play. It starts off kind of slow, put picks up enough steam a couple of pages in that it becomes very good. I recomend it.
Alyssa
Apr 01, 2009 Alyssa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alyssa by: Professor Bloom
Shelves: school
I enjoyed this much more than i anticipated. I'm glad I chose to read it through once first before I have to dissect it for class. :)
Goretti
enjoyed the journey to Nieu Bethesda with learners from Camps Bay in the wake of the teaching of this play.
Lois
Jul 08, 2007 Lois rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True literature lovers
Shelves: lobagsbooks
This is good. Read it. It is too long to explain so go to Amazon and read the summary and reviews.
Latha
Nov 21, 2008 Latha rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Latha by: My husband
This is a play. It was a different type of thing for me to read.l
Juliana Hanford
There aren't enough stars in the world for this.
Zama Zungu
Favourite Play of all Time...Shake who?
Jen
Ah, the unfortunately named Athol.
Nhlanhla
Nhlanhla marked it as to-read
Mar 03, 2015
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Silence Ratau marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2015
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Naomi Ibiama marked it as to-read
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Harold Athol Lannigan Fugard (b. June 11, 1932, Middelburg, South Africa), better known as Athol Fugard, is a South African playwright, actor, and director. His wife, Sheila Fugard, and their daughter, Lisa Fugard, are also writers.

Athol Fugard was born of an Irish Roman Catholic father and an Afrikaner mother. He considers himself an Afrikaner, but writes in English to reach a larger audience. Hi
...more
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