• Summary
  • Venue
  • Credits


From the novel by Es’kia Mphahlele
Adapted and directed by James Ngcobo
Featuring live music composed and written by Hugh Masekela

A moment, a hope, a choice.

It’s 1950s South Africa. A young newly married couple leave their rural village and disapproving family, for the city of Durban. Their goal: to return home, rich and free.

But, alienated in the city, unemployed and poor, Timi starts to lose his moral compass. Desperate to provide for his pregnant wife he steals a suitcase left on a bus not knowing what might be inside; an act which brings frightening consequences, dramatic twists and unexpected turns.

Based on a true story, The Suitcase has been nominated in the New Director category in the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards for The Rosalie van der Gucht Prize. Director James Ngcobo saw enormous theatrical potential in this poignant and emotive story and so adapted it for stage. The production – evocative, visual and moving – encompasses African storytelling and lyrical music at its very best.

Es’kia Mphahlele is among South Africa’s greatest writers, thinkers and critics. Respected worldwide as a literary luminary, he has published many short stories, essays and novels dealing with issues of race and South Africa’s changing society.

Freedom Festival

From 1 – 3 Sept, The Suitcase at Hull Truck Theatre is part of the Freedom Festival 2017 programme. Find out more about the Freedom line-up at hull2017.co.uk/freedomfestival


Hull Truck Theatre
50 Ferensway
01482 323638


If you have purchased a ticket for an event/activity at this venue through hull2017.co.uk, please do not contact the venue direct with enquiries for that purchase as they will be unable to help.

Venue Access

  • Accessible Toilets
  • Baby Changing
  • Blue-Badge Parking
  • Hearing Loop
  • Level Access
  • Wheelchair Access

Opening times

Monday 10am - 5.30pm (or 30 mins prior to show time)
Tuesday 10am - 5.30pm (or 30 mins prior to show time)
Wednesday 10am - 5.30pm (or 30 mins prior to show time)
Thursday 10am - 5.30pm (or 30 mins prior to show time)
Friday 10am - 5.30pm (or 30 mins prior to show time)
Saturday 10am - 5.30pm (or 30 mins prior to show time)
Sunday Closed (or from 1 hour prior to show time)

Creative Credits

The Suitcase is presented in its UK Premiere by five partner theatres across the North and funded by the National Lottery and Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring fund. Hull Truck Theatre, Northern Stage, Derby Theatre, Lancaster Dukes and Liverpool Playhouse are delighted to be bringing this extraordinary production across from South Africa, and to be working so closely with The Market Theatre, which has long been celebrated for the part it played in bringing people together and foregrounding story and human strength during Apartheid.

This tour is a celebration of the lives of cities, communities and artists coming together from across the world.