Woza Albert asks tough questions

2016-04-07 06:00
Sizwesandile Mnisi and Oarabile Ditsele in Woza Albert.

Sizwesandile Mnisi and Oarabile Ditsele in Woza Albert.

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The beloved and renowned South African classic, Woza Albert is at the Baxter this week, directed by Fleur du Cap winner Mdu Kweyama.

Woza Albert, which means “Rise Albert”, was written by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon in 1981. The piece is still regarded as one of the most successful plays to come out of South Africa, winning more than 20 prestigious awards worldwide.

Mdu Kweyama’s version of Woza Albert, brought to stage by arrangement with DALRO (Pty) Limited, was first performed at the Little Theatre last year as part of the Barney Simon tribute by the University of Cape Town.

The two-hander stars Sizwesandile Mnisi and Oarabile Ditsele who play various roles through mime, singing, dance and physical theatre - from a vendor, barber, servant to a manual labourer and soldier.

The play is a political satire that imagines the second coming of Christ in apartheid-era South Africa. It looks at a wide range of characters in South Africa at the beginning of the 1980s and attacks the pass laws that prevented Black people from moving freely at the time. The production uses the metaphor of Morena (Jesus) to show what would happen if he came back to South Africa during apartheid. Would he like what he saw? And if he saw the atrocities of the time then why would he not do anything about them?

Woza Albert runs in the Baxter’s Golden Arrow Studio until Saturday 9 April with a 14:00 matinee on Saturday. V Tickets cost R100 and are available at Computicket.

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