Acclaimed Broadway musical at the Hex

2016-08-31 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Zazi Kunene as Sarafina, with the boys.

PHOTO: supplied Zazi Kunene as Sarafina, with the boys.

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BEFORE Sarafina the movie, there was Sarafina the play.

This September the UKZN Drama Department, Pietermaritzburg Campus is to present this critically acclaimed Broadway musical at the university’s Hexagon Theatre.

The play was originally written by award-winning actor, director, playwright Mbongeni Ngema who also choreographed, produced and composed music for the stage play when it first hit New York stages in the eighties.

The play is set in Soweto, specifically at Morris Isaacson High, a school in which the students of 1976 protested against the imposition of using Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in township schools.

Led by a fierce young woman, Sarafina, who is committed to the struggle against apartheid, they brave tear gas and police shootings in an attempt to fight for justice and freedom in the education system.

The play comes alive through performances by a young cast of second and third-year drama students and forms part of the department’s annual student production.

They are also joined by three students from the Creative Arts College and a pupil from Girls’ High.

The play is directed by Ntokozo Madlala, a lecturer in the Drama Department, musical direction assisted by T. Christian, a rising musical producer who performed at this year’s Pietermaritzburg Jazz Festival, and a former drummer for Simphiwe Dana.

Choreography is by lecturer Pumelela­ “Push” Nqelenga and Brenda Lee Cele, who manages Accoustic Assassins and directed And the Girls in their Sunday Dresses earlier this year.

The production also features lecturer in the department, Ayanda Khala Phiri, who brings a colourful performance to the supporting role of Teaspoon.

The role of Sarafina is shared by Nandile Khumalo and Zazi Kunene, who both bring unique strengths to this iconic role.

Performances 8 to 13 September (Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday at 6.30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 3pm). - Supplied.

Tickets R100 (concessions R50 - R80)

Book at Webtickets (Book online, or book online and collect at Pick n Pay, or buy at selected Pick n Pay outlets)

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