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The Durban Playhouse celebrates Africa Month with a smorgasbord of shows

Shaka Zulu: The Gaping Wound. Picture: Supplied

Shaka Zulu: The Gaping Wound. Picture: Supplied

Published May 17, 2022


The Durban Playhouse Company is treating culturally deprived theatre lovers to a plethora of plays as part of their Africa Month, New Stages Festival.

Currently open and running until May 28, the New Stages Festival presents South African music, dance and drama productions that are creative, original and thought-provoking.

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Here’s what theatregoers can look forward to:

“Shaka Zulu: The Gaping Wound” is written by the late Bongani Linda and stars Thembinkosi Chagwe (as Shaka Zulu), Nkanyiso Bhengu (Dingane) and Mduduzi Mabaso (Mshongweni).

It tells the story of the world-renowned warrior king uShaka ka Senzangakhona, who was a visionary, a patriot, a prophet, a diplomat, a military strategist, a nationalist and a nation-builder.

The musical production is told through the eyes of a praise singer, taking audiences on a journey of historical imagination to the glorious past and leading them back through exhilarating song, praise poetry and energetic Zulu dancing to a proudly and unapologetically pan-African future that the ancestors envisaged.

“Shaka Zulu: The Gaping Wound” will be on at the Playhouse Opera from May 25 to 28. Tickets are R120.

Brutal Legacy takes place from May 19 to 22. Picture: Supplied.

“Brutal Legacy” is inspired by former television anchor and radio personality Tracy Going’s memoir detailing how she grew up witnessing her mother suffer abuse at the hands of her violent alcoholic father and later – under the glare of the national spotlight – abuse she later experienced at the hands of a romantic partner.

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Searing, heartbreaking, triumphant, ”Brutal Legacy“ is for anyone who’s survived trauma and found the strength to stand up again. It is directed by award-winning Lesedi Job.

“Brutal Legacy” will be on at The Loft from May 19 to 22. Tickets are R120.

Udodana takes place in the Grand Foyer from May 25 to 28. Picture: Supplied.

“Udodana” by Musa Hlatshwayo features Hlatshwayo himself and his company of 10 all-male multi-skilled ensemble.

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The production will be staged in the Grand Foyer from May 25 to 28. Tickets are R90.

“Origins” is a dance and puppetry-focused production which tells the story of a young girl, Ezileh, and her relationship with her father, Monwabisi.

The work follows the child’s development and her responses to the shifting and increasingly difficult relationship with her father. It is directed by Janni Younge and choreographed by Nkanyiso Kunene.

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“Origins” will be on from May 19 to 21 at the Drama Theatre. Tickets are R90.

Origins takes place from May 19 to 21. Picture: Supplied.

The Playhouse Company is responding to the global focus on gender-based violence (GBV) with a community conversation taking place on May 25 at noon.

Featuring Gil Harper, a GBV activist, the sessions will focus on how to deal with the effects and trauma caused by GBV.

Clinical psychologist Rumbidzai Chidzonga and Musawenkosi Tshabalala (“Silencing the Screams”) will take audiences on a journey of how the young learners reacted to the production that toured KZN Schools earlier this year.

In honour of Africa Month, a free “Friday Sundowner” concert will be held in the Cellar on May 20. It features pure jazz in the spotlight with music by Milkyway Galaxy Band and Nonzwakazi and Band. RSVPs by Wednesday, May 18 at 4pm.

Tickets for all productions are available at Webtickets, or call The Playhouse Company at 031 369 9540 (office hours).