The Island formed part of a Royal Court South African Season, which included Sizwe Banzi is Dead and Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act, also by Athol Fugard. Inspired by a true story and set in the notorious South African prison, Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held, the play became part of an anti-Apartheid protest, with campaigners distributing pamphlets outside the Royal Court Theatre. The Island transferred to the West End and Broadway, where it played in repertory with Sizwe Banzi is Dead. Its actors, John Kani and Winston Ntshona, co-won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.
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