William Kentridge
Past event


REDCAT and The Broad present the international debut of artist William Kentridge’s durational performance Houseboy. Based on the 1956 novel by Cameroonian diplomat Ferdinand Oyono, the performance explores themes of historical participation, archival memory, and post-colonial identity. This performance uses the protagonist’s diary and personal experiences as source material for the narrative. South African performers are featured and a large charcoal drawing by Kentridge serves as the theatrical backdrop. Accompanied by live music and percussion, Kentridge’s staged interpretation of Oyono’s novel creates an immersive multimedia experience that muses on agency and trauma and directly folds into the artist’s multidisciplinary practice on view at The Broad.

Post-performance talk on Thursday, November 17 and Sunday, November 20. 

Tickets to Houseboy include same-day access to The Broad’s special exhibition, William Kentridge: In Praise of Shadows, and the third floor galleries, during operating hours. Access to Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away (2013) is not included.

The Broad is located at 221 S. Grand Avenue, just across the street from REDCAT.

Co-presented with The Broad in conjunction with the William Kentridge: In Praise of Shadows exhibition on view November 12, 2022–April 9, 2023.

Generous support provided by Brenda R. Potter and Marian Goodman Gallery.


Cast & Crew

TEXT: Ferdinand Oyono

From the work “UNE VIE DE BOY” by Ferdinand OYONO-© Copyright Julliard 1956


DIRECTOR: William Kentridge

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Phala Ookeditse Phala

PERFORMERS: Alfred Motlhapi, Makudupanyane Senaoana, Sello Ramolahloane, Katlego Letsholonyane, William Harding, Antony Coleman, Sue Pam-Grant, Buhle Mazibuko, Sibahle Mangena

MUSICIANS: Micca Manganye & Volley Nchabeleng

CHORUS DIRECTOR: Nhlanhla Mahlangu

ADDITIONAL VOICES: Nhlanhla Mahlangu, Bongile Gorata Lecoge-Zulu & Bronwyn Lace

COSTUME DESIGNERS: Greta Goiris, Emmanuelle Erhart & SO Academy Costume Mentees

DRAMATURGE: Bongile Lecoge-Zulu



STAGE MANAGER: Dimakatso Motholo

About the Artist

William Kentridge

William Kentridge is a draughtsman, performer, filmmaker, and is the founder of The Centre for the Less Good Idea. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kentridge is internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, theatre, and opera productions. Embracing collaboration and cross-pollination of various media and genres, including performance, film, literature, and more, his work frequently responds to the legacies of colonialism and apartheid, within the context of South Africa’s socio-political landscape. Erasure, play, uncertainty, and a process-led methodology are also central to his practice. A background in theatre, as well as his early experimentations with stop-motion animation continue to inform and characterise much of the work he produces today, be it for the stage, the gallery, in the studio or the lecture hall.

For Kentridge, The Centre for the Less Good Idea is a space that is partially informed by his own artistic practice and processes, while also affording him a space to experiment and collaborate with fellow artists, performers, and ways of working. It is this ability to be both in and outside of The Centre that sees Kentridge working to hold, inform, question, and draw out the seemingly disparate lines of thought that are necessary agitators and animators for the particular kinds of work that take shape in the mixed-media terrain of the space.