ANGUISH: Women talk, sing and cry about their daily lives, and dispel a few myths in Scenes from Soweto.
Soyikwa Institute of African Theatre will present its captivating new musical, Scenes from Soweto, at the Wits Main Theatre from October 25.
After a long absence from the stage Soyikwa is to present a large cast of 25 professional and young up-and-coming actors and dancers, accompanied by a live band.
Scenes from Soweto is written and directed by Jennifer Logan, principal of the Soyikwa Institute of African Theatre. Logan has produced many artists of note who now work in the TV and theatre industries.
She played one of the leading parts in the Disney musical The Lion King in Los Angeles, US, and she has worked with the legendary Miriam Makeba, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse and other notable performers.
“It is wonderful to be working on this production with Jerry Raletebele (the founder of the Soyikwa Institute and director of the Soyikwa Production Company) and with this supremely talented cast,” said Logan.
Mxolisi Khumalo, is the musical director, a talented young musician who won acclaim for his musical composition for Patrick Mdlalose’s Silent Pain and Sexuality. Mdlalose and Moving into Dance Mophatong (MIDM) graduate Potlaki Mokhethi are the choreographers and will infuse the production with a distinctly “Soweto” flavour. The production will also feature set and stage design by Karabo Legoabe, who has worked with Sarah Roberts; lighting design by Mojalefa Elijah Makgobenyane. The costumes are designed and made by Nthabiseng Makoni.
Scenes from Soweto is a musical journey that will take the audience through the day-to-day lives of Sowetans; their daily journeys on buses, taxis, trains and on foot.
“Soweto has been deemed the ‘riotous’ township. But when you peel away the layers of youth riots, you come to the core of a people who survived to make history. A people who love life, fun, happiness and love,” says Jerry Raletebele.
“From Soweto came leaders and artists that made the world aware that down in the south of Africa there are people who love and enjoy life and happiness. Scenes from Soweto will provide a true African musical experience with content that it is uniquely South African and will thrill, humour, awaken and educate all at the same time.”
“This is a show for those who are curious about Soweto, the individuals who have heard rumours about Soweto, but have never had them proved true or not. Rumours like, does Soweto have gangsters at every corner? Are there shebeens or taverns at every corner? Is there loud, blaring music coming from every house and are people having a good time at odd times of the day? Scenes from Soweto will put all these rumours to rest,” he says.
The cast features the widely-travelled and experienced Glen Gabela, most recently seen in Umoja, but well known for his leading role in a 13-part TV drama Inkom’ Edla Yodwa, where he starred alongside the late Henry Cele. Also featured in the musical are Bright Mathonsi, Zizipho “Zee” Mposula, Bongani Khumalo, Themba Kula, Mxegeni “Fresh” Hlatshwayo, Lerato Makaane and Cynthia Magagula.
Scenes from Soweto do not have age restriction and will appeal to the whole family. Performances are at the Wits Main Theatre, Jorrissen Street, Braamfontein from Tuesday October 25 to Saturday October 29 at 7pm and a matinee on Sunday October 30 at 3pm.
Tickets are available at R80, and R50 for block bookings (10+) and pensioners. Booking is through www.tickets.com and tickets can also be bought at the door.