Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination


Edited by Lionel Abrahams and Jane Fox

Barney Simon (1932–1995) was the legendary artistic director, writer, and co-creator of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, one of the most influential and distinguished theatres in South Africa and the world. He workshopped, wrote, and directed unforgettable and pertinent plays in his quest to hold a mirror up high to society. These works stand as a testament to South Africa’s recent history.

Here are 80 testaments from international artists about Barney’s often mysterious creative process. Barney was especially known for his famous orange exercise. Through a single orange, he communicated lessons of detail, care, and respect. With full-color illustrations throughout, this is an essential book for students and teachers of theatrical expression, and indeed for anyone who strives to understand their own voice. With the passing of a decade of democracy in South Africa, The World in an Orange is a record of the last years of apartheid and the role of the arts community in bringing it down.


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“The essential Barney—a soul of extraordinary generosity and talent. He gave of himself in a way that no other man I have known has done. His obsession was theatre—good theatre, good South African theatre—and I truly believe he would have sacrificed himself to that cause. He certainly gave his whole life to it.”


Irene Stephanou is a South African writer and performer of Greek descent, whose notable works include Is Every Sperm Sacred? and Meze, Mera and Make Up.