The Road to Mecca Show Poster

The Road to Mecca Tickets

Set in the region of South Africa known as the Karoo, The Road to Mecca tells the story of an elderly woman who has spent the years since her husband’s death transforming her home into an intricate and dazzling work of art. The reclusive Miss Helen has become depressed and appears increasingly unable to care for herself. Pastor Marius Byleveld, who embodies the village’s conservative values, is determined to get Miss Helen into an old-age home. Her friend Elsa, a young teacher from Cape Town who is deeply suspicious of the patriarchal traditions Byleveld represents, is just as determined that Miss Helen remain free.

This show is closed.

Performances ended on Mar. 4, 2012.

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About The Road to Mecca on Broadway

Previews: Dec 16, 2011 • Opening: Jan 17, 2012 • Closing: Mar 4, 2012
Broadway Plays Drama
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Todd Haimes Theatre Todd Haimes Theatre
227 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Hearing Assistance
Assisted listening devices available. Infrared headsets are free to check out at coatcheck with a photo ID.
Wheelchair Access
The Orchestra and Rear Mezzanine are accessible.
Elevators and Escalators
Elevators are available to all levels of the theater.
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What Is the Story of The Road to Mecca?
Set in apartheid South Africa, The Road to Mecca is based on the true story of Helen Martins, an elderly woman who, after her husband’s death, reconstructed her home and front yard into an array of glittering art. When Helen gets an unexpected visit from Elsa, a spirited young teacher who is inspired by Helen’s work, Elsa discovers that Helen is being coerced out of her home by the local church. Elsa convinces Helen to stay put and continue creating art, even though suspicious clues around the house suggest that Helen may be having difficulty taking care of herself. To Elsa’s disdain, Pastor Marius Byleveld pays a visit, hoping Helen will take an open room in the church’s old-age home. Elsa and Byleveld both state their arguments, but the final decision is one that only Helen can make.


A collection of our favorite reviews from professional news sources.

"Under Gordon Edelstein’s sensitive direction, the starry cast brings out the best of what’s on the page."

New York Daily News

Joe Dziemianowicz

"Michael Yeargan has designed a jaw-dropping set—a tchotchke-filled explosion of paint and glass and glitter, of weathered wood, comfy quilts and soft tapestries."

Entertainment Weekly

Melissa Rose Bernardo

"[Rosemary Harris] seems positively ablaze, an all-eclipsing torch amid the myriad candles with which Miss Helen illuminates her house."

The New York Times

Ben Brantley

Cast & Creative


Pastor Marius Byleveld


Written by
Athol Fugard
Gordon Edelstein
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