Hampstead Downstairs & Eric Abraham present

A Human Being Died That Night

By Nicholas Wright, based on the book by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

Directed by Jonathan Munby

10 May - 15 June

Archived £5 - £12
‘I was a veteran fighter. That’s how I saw myself. But at the end of the day, Pumla, all that I really am is a veteran of lost ideologies. Once you realise that, you lose your innocence.’




‘Held my breath for 80 minutes… utterly riveting’ @helenjerome

‘Electrifying… gripping, searingly intelligent’ @mkmswain

‘Another must see from Hamps_Theatre’ @BennettFox

Click here to see more Twitter reviews

1997, Pretoria Central Prison, South Africa. Psychologist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela prepares to sit opposite the apartheid regime’s most notorious assassin.

A member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, she is interviewing Eugene de Kock while he serves 212 years for crimes against humanity, murder, conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, illegal possession of firearms, and fraud.

How did he become one of the most reviled figures in apartheid history? Is Pumla able to overcome her disgust and hate for this monster and find the human within? And will he even be prepared to open up and tell an educated black woman the truth?

Nicholas Wright makes his Hampstead Downstairs debut following his sell-out hit The Last of the Duchess on the Main Stage in 2011. A Human Being Died That Night is based on the best-selling book of the same name by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela and explores her extraordinary interviews with Eugene de Kock, her time on the TRC, and how a fundamentally moral person could become a mass murderer.

Director Jonathan Munby makes his Hampstead Theatre debut. Theatre credits include A Number (Menier Chocolate Factory), Company (Sheffield Crucible), The Prince of Homburg, Life is a Dream (Donmar Warehouse) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe).

Matthew Marsh returns to Hampstead Theatre to play Eugene de Kock, following No Naughty Bits in 2011. His previous credits include The Last of the Haussmans, Blood and Gifts (both National Theatre), Proof (Mernier Chocolate Factory) and the Oscar winning film The Iron Lady.

Hampstead also welcomes back Olivier Award winner Noma Dumezweni, as Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, following Little Eagles (2011). Her theatre credits include Feast, A Raisin in the Sun (both Young Vic), Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar (both RSC).

‘Both Dumezweni and Marsh give intelligent and at times emotional performances, which afford insight into how apartheid shaped the psyche of the different South African people’ Thesouthafrican.com

Approximate running time is 1 hour and 20 minutes with no interval


'I don't like the audience to get too comfortable' The South African interviews Jonathan Munby

The South African's Sandi Thompson interviews director Jonathan Munby

A Cup of Tea with... A Human Being Died That Night actor Noma Dumezweni

We chat to actor Noma Dumezweni about her favourite London haunts, researching for her role and meeting Al Pacino. Noma is playing Pumla in A Human Being Died That Night which runs Downstairs until …

A Cup of Tea With... A Human Being Died That Night actor Matthew Marsh

We chat to actor Matthew Marsh about returning to Hampstead, playing a notorious character and embarrassing moments on stage. Matthew is playing Eugene de Kock in A Human Being Died That Night which…

A Human Being Died That Night: What the audience thinks

Twitter reviews A Human Being Died That Night

A Human Being Died That Night: WIN

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED ———————————————————————R…

A Human Being Died That Night: Production photos

Production photos taken by Robert Day

A Human Being Died That Night: In rehearsals

A Human Being Died That Night rehearsal photos

A Human Being Died That Night: A writer's introduction

Nicholas Wright talks about his new play A Human Being Died That Night

A Human Being Died That Night: Eugene de Kock

Based on Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela’s interviews with Eugene de Kock, A Human Being Died That Night explores how a fundamentally moral person can become a mass murderer. Here’s a potted his…

Cast & Crew

Artistic Team


Nicholas Wright


Jonathan Munby


Paul Wills

Lighting Designer

Tim Mitchell


Noma Dumezweni.jpg

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

Noma Dumezweni

Matthew Marsh M093 Web.jpg

Eugene de Kock

Matthew Marsh

Prison Guard

Martins Imhangbe

Prison Guard

Ken Nwosu