‘Macabre’, an immersive theatre experience presented by UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design, and Architecture (FADA), runs from 6-10 June 2023 at a specially selected performance site in Auckland Park.

This psychological suspense play invites limited audiences for an experimental site-oriented theatrical experience written by award-winning playwright and UJ Arts & Culture Head of Division, Pieter Jacobs, and directed by Jade Bowers based on the direction of the play’s first director, Gopala Davies with the production designed by Karabo Legoabe.

‘Macabre’ features South African heavyweights, Judy Ditchfield and Fezile Mpela with compositions and accompaniment by musician Matthew MacFarlane. Set in modern-day South Africa, the site-orientated play delves into the experience of senescence and abandonment, tackling ageism and racism in democratic South Africa. It is a story of guilt, loss, and remorse sparked by the dramatic collision between characters Maude’s past and Abel’s future.

‘Writing the script for Macabre has been an exciting journey and where I as I playwright would normally have been done and the production be completely in the hands of the director, designer, and actors, the immersive nature and site-oriented positioning of the work requires or more sustained involvement that is extremely fulfilling and rewarding,’ says Pieter Jacobs, the playwright.

The intimate space and proximity to the action places audiences in the middle of the play, enhancing the emotional journey and dramatic arch. ‘Macabre’ experiments with the amalgamation of immersive theatre staples designed to stimulate an array of senses and narrative.

“Taking over direction of Macabre, I’m fortunate to receive the baton from the incredible Gopala Davies, who allows me to interpret the narrative through my own creative lens. The story immerses the audience, which was a stimulating factor to consider when directing, as I wanted to ensure that the audience experiences the story as opposed to merely watching it,” says Bowers.

‘Macabre’ is an intimate avant-garde theatre production that takes place at a specially selected off-campus location. Due to the immersive nature of the performance, seats for each show will be limited.

For more information and to book your ticket, please go to

Dates: 6-11 June 2023

Venue: 53A Twickenham Avenue Auckland Park Johannesburg

Time: 18:30 for 19:00

Tickets: R150

UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts.

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA ( offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The FADA has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.

Buttons For Muashuda