Musical message

2009-09-08 00:00

THE Indaba Tree, an ecomusical penned by Ronel Wood and featuring pupils from Maritzburg College and Russell High School, will be staged at the Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens at 5 pm on September 11 and at noon on September 12.

The production is directed by Orna Koch, drama teacher at Maritzburg College, with Wood, who is the choir mistress at Russell High School, as the musical director.

Talking to me about the play, Wood said: “I wrote the story four years ago. It has been performed once ­before — at Epworth for an ecoconference — and it worked really well. For this performance, I have embroidered the original story with a lot of music, so it’s now an ecomusical ­drama … it’s evolving all the time. I composed some of the songs myself and the Russell High School choir suggested I also use songs, such as Michael Jackson’s Earth Song, in the piece.”

The ecomusical tells the story of a Zulu chief, Madumbya, who is ­always plundering and destroying things. He usually plans his ­campaigns under the branches of the indaba tree, something which makes the tree (played by Jessica Khoza) very upset and prompts it to tell a young girl, Xolisile, that she has to get the chief to change his way of life and use the medicinal properties of the tree to help people.

The performance of The Indaba Tree forms part of this weekend’s An Eco-Indaba For Our City event, which aims to create a more sustainable and ecofriendly city, and to create an awareness of the importance of green space in and around Pietermaritzburg.



September 11:

• A women’s breakfast, titled Ecological Intelligence – Making a Difference, at 8 am. Tickets: R50.

• Talk by environmentalist, Dr Ian McCallum, author of Ecological Intelligence, at 10 am.

• Epworth wetlands play at 11.15 am.

• Art and environmental displays at 11.45 am.

• Lunch hosted by Midi at 12.30 pm. Tickets: R120.

• Poetry programme led by McCallum at 2.30 pm.

• Phuzamoya Dream Centre play at 3.30 pm.

• ‘The Indaba Tree’ play at 5 pm. Tickets: R20 adults, R10 pensioners and pupils.

• Indaba dinner at 6.30 pm. Tickets: R120.

• Presentations by McCallum, titled A Global Challenge – Lessons from Antarctica, and by Rodney Bartholomew (Msunduzi conservation manager), titled A Local Challenge – Working towards a Sustainable City, at 7.45 pm.

September 12:

• Breakfast at Lower Mpushini Valley at 8 am. Tickets: R30.

• Interpretive trail, led by McCallum, at 9 am. Tickets: R20.


• To submit artwork, poetry or to book space for an environmental display, or for full programme details and booking, phone Deanne Lawrence at 033 344 3094 or Pandora Long at 072 692 8124.

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