Nicholas Wright’s debut play draws from his experience growing up in South Africa during the Cold War.
Set in Cape Town in 1952, salesman Rusty is a committed Communist and father to adventurous young Rupert. Along with his colleague, Leo, they find themselves running counter to fascistic new legislation enforcing racial segregation. After finding the courage to leave his unhappy marriage, Rusty resigns from his job but sends the letter from the non-whites counter at the Post Office thus causing local outrage. But the fight against apartheid is going to need more than a minor gesture. The scenes between the adults are counteracted with those between Rusty’s son Rupert and Leo’s son Mark who form an unusual bond despite their differences.
Treetops was first performed at the Riverside Studios in London in 1978.