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RAIN (article first published : 2006-03-23)

Durban-based Theatre Company Madcaps has begun touring its 2006 production Rain, a musical based on an ancient San tale which focuses on the age-old battle between good and evil.

Against their motherís wishes, the beautiful daughters of Rain leave their home in the sky to visit the earth below. They are accompanied by their younger brother Son-eib and Wolf, who has disguised his wicked heart and mesmerized the sky-girls. A dramatic story unfolds with dance, song, music, puppetry and mime accompanying narration and dialogue.

Established performers Wendy Nell and Gisele Turner, founders of Madcaps, direct the production and are joined by ethnomusicologist Sazi Dlamini and experienced actress, singer and puppeteer Mpume Mthombene. Dlamini is an expert on traditional instruments such as the bow, kalimba and horn as well as being the musical director and composer for Rain. Using a wide variety of exciting dramatic styles, these four seasoned and talented performers weave the magic of the ancient art of story telling, enhanced with music and beautiful puppets.

Well-known ceramicist and sculptress Wendy Nell has created magnificent body puppets, headdresses, masks and dolls to enhance the visuals. Gisele Turner has designed the costumes, which have been made by dynamic young designer, Shaun Dugen of Nguni Shades.

Rain is an inspiring production. Not only does it pay homage to the cultural heritage of one of the most ancient tribes of Southern Africa but it introduces audiences to fascinating musical sounds and a wide range of story telling techniques.

Rain is performed in isiZulu and English with a running time of 50 minutes. Schools or educational institutions interested in the production should contact Gisele Turner on 031 464 5871 or 083 545 8546.




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