‘The Cry of Winnie Mandela’ is a must-see show for theatregoers

The seasoned cast of ‘The Cry of Winnie Mandela’. Picture: Supplied

The seasoned cast of ‘The Cry of Winnie Mandela’. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 13, 2024


AS MUCH as there are plenty of theatre shows on, there is one production that you much catch later this month.

And that is “The Cry of Winnie Mandela” at The Market Theatre from March 30 to April 21.

It is adapted by Alex Burger from Njabulo Ndebele’s novel of the same title, which was released in 2003.

The poignant offering centres on four women, who are waiting for their men to return from either exile, the mines, political imprisonment or from studying abroad.

These are personal stories, which are attached to the more high-profile public figures later.

One such story is that of Winnie Mandela, offering the audience a front-row seat into her life, and her indomitable spirit. It pays homage to her legacy through the haunting conversations the women share.

The play is helmed by MoMo Matsunyane, the Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Theatre. She is supported by costume designer, Onthatile Matshidiso, sound and videographer, Vangile Z Mpumlwana, as well as award-winning set and lighting designer, Wilhelm Disbergen.

The cast features Rami Chuene as Mannete, Ayanda Sibisi as Delisiwe, Nambitha Mpumlwana as Winnie Mandela, Siyasanga Papu as Marara, Pulane Rampoana as Mamello and Les Nkosi as Prof Ndebele.

Greg Homann, the artistic director of The Market Theatre said: “In this 30 Years of Democracy Season we aim to present powerful storytelling and exceptional performances with the hope of igniting necessary conversations that inspire and challenge audiences to feel and think about the journey our country has taken and the path we currently are on.”

“The universal theme of waiting serves as a starting point; a powerful motif, inviting audiences to reflect on the historical struggles of women while drawing parallels to our own contemporary lives.”

Where: Barney Simon Theatre, Market Theatre.

When: March 30 – April 21, at 7pm.

Cost: Ticket prices from R100 to R200 at Webtickets. For reduced-price block bookings (of 10 or more) and school groups, contact The Market Theatre.

“My Son Pinocchio Jr”

If you are looking for something to keep the little ones entertained, then look no further than this classic Disney story at the Peoples Theatre.

“My Son Pinocchio Jr” is told from the perspective of toymaker Geppetto, who embarks on an adventurous journey to discover the true meaning of family.

The production is underpinned by songs that the audience can sing along with, like “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “I’ve Got No Strings”.

The journey of Pinocchio from an awkward wooden puppet to a real boy, thanks to the compassionate Blue Fairy, is laden with heart-warming moments and fun exploits.

The play is produced and directed by Jill Girard and Keith Smith, with costumes by Luciano Zuppa, choreography by Sandy Richardson Dyer, musical direction by Coenraad Rall and set design by Grant Knottenbelt.

The cast includes Caiden Distiller, Kiran Moodley and Ntsako Mtombeni alternating as Pinocchio, Zuppa as Geppetto, Nonhlanhla “Noni” Mkhonto as The Blue Fairy, Gamelihle Mbovana as Mr Stromboli, Raymond Skinner as Cat and Lesedi Mphshe as Fox.

Where: Peoples Theatre.

When: March 12 to April 21, at 9am and 11am on Tuesday to Friday and at 10.30am and 2.30pm on weekends and public holidays.

Cost: Ticket prices from R140 and R165. For school group rates, contact the theatre directly. Book online at www.joburgtheatre.com or via Webtickets.

SONDA (State Of the National DisAster)

A satirical one-hander on the state of the South African nation, post-apartheid.

SONDA, a modern protest theatre show, pulls no punches in addressing pertinent social issues like unemployment, poor service delivery, high crime rates, a poor education system, poverty, the appointment of incompetent public servants and empty promises.

Written and performed by Philangezwi Nxumalo, the 70-minute show, which includes physical comedy, is directed by Aaliyah Matintela.

With elections around the corner, this piece gives a voice to the voiceless. No under 12s allowed.

Where: Kippies, Market Theatre.

When: March 14 –17 at 7.30pm, weekdays.

Cost: R100 from Webtickets.

Shows currently on:


This family drama hones in on the powerful world of social media. Alex, who is in matric at a private school, finds himself ensnared in a viral scandal. As such, he finds himself suspended.

The decision has far-reaching consequences for his family also.

Directed by Craig Freimond, this production, written by Rosalind Butler, was born from the production company’s script development program, The Writers’ Collective during the lockdown in 2021.

It stars Charmaine Weir-Smith, Antony Coleman, Nicolas Hattingh, Graham Hopkins and Amelia Smith.

No under-14s are allowed.

Where: Mannie Manim, Market Theatre.

When: Until March 31, at 7pm.

Cost: Ticket prices from R120 and R230 at Webtickets. Discounts for students and block bookings available.


The long-running stage production, “Sophiatown”, has returned to The Market Theatre.

Helmed by Aubrey Sekhabi, this time a live band accompanies the play.

For those who have yet to witness the production, the story is set in the repressive 1950s, where two “Drum” magazine journalists, looking for a tenant, advertise for one at Mamariti’s shebeen in Sophiatown.

To their astonishment, a white Jewish girl from Yeoville responds to the ad.

And so begins an interesting and harmonious journey, against the backdrop of the vibrant and colourful atmosphere of the area and the shebeen, and in defiance of the apartheid rules.

Where: The John Kani Theatre at The Market Theatre.

When: Runs until March 24 at 7pm, 3pm and 11am, depending on the day.

Cost: Tickets from R120 – R250 via Webtickets. Reduced-price bookings for 10 or more and school groups.