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SONGS & TALES UNDER AFRICAN SKIES (article first published : 2004-09-8)

Joyce Levinsohn’s latest production, Songs and Tales under African Skies presented by The Johannesburg Youth Theatre, comes to the Playhouse in September.

It begins with all the vibrancy and joy that audiences have come to expect from her shows. African drums pulsate and colourfully-clad dancers appear in front of a magnificently sewn backdrop as the timeless and topical Songs and Tales spreads the message of sustainable environmental development in a high energy eco-musical.

The show combines the rich traditions of oral storytelling with indigenous poetry, vibrant song and the pulsating rhythms of African dance. The result is an educating theatrical experience that celebrates Africa’s multicultural heritage.

The anthology of the stories has a useful message focusing on the need to preserve - not destroy - the environment. The children are encouraged to participate in the stories, becoming animals and cleaning up litter, an exercise which they do with great gusto.

The Johannesburg Youth Theatre believes that live interactive theatre should be an integral part of the human experience and should reach as many children as possible. Songs And Tales Under African Skies is widely recognised as the flagship in JYT’s repertoire. Since its début performance in 1989 at the Johannesburg Zoo, the production has enjoyed ongoing critical acclaim in South Africa, London, Rome, Cologne, Braunschweig, Bonn and Mauritius.

With its talented cast, the show entertains and educates young people who delight in its humour, action and audience participation. The cast includes Tebogo Tshotetsi, Pinkie Wilbon, Simangele Mbatha and Jodi Leigh Deerling.

Songs and Tales runs at the Playhouse from September 14 to 18 at 14h30 every afternoon. To book call the Playhouse Dial-A-SEAT on 031 369 9444.




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