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MALUJU ZULU (article first published : 2004-10-15)

Generating from KwaZulu-Natal, MalujuMaluju Zulu tells a tale of love and war as clans go to battle over boundaries drawn by colonialism. It is presented on the Playhouse stage following a season earlier this year in Gauteng where it was selected as the best production of the Market Theatre Laboratory’s Zwakala festival. Zulu is a vibrant piece of musical theatre presented in the opening slot of The Playhouse’s season of theatre entitled New Stages. This season has been devised as a performance platform to showcase productions that highlight theatrical expressions of the New South Africa.

Maluju Zulu makes the leap from community to the mainstream with finesse,” wrote veteran stage critic Adrienne Sichel in The Star. “Its freshness, that handmade touch, paired with passionate performances give [the show] its power…. Maluju Zulu epitomizes a valuable aspect of our theatre-making tradition, and heritage, which can be as entertaining as it is educational.”

The play, written and directed by Bonkinkosi Shangase, is set during the time when British forces occupied the village of eNkandla. A story of love struggling to survive in a context of brutal tribal wars, it reflects back on how borders created between local communities during British occupation led to ongoing strife. The actors relive these historic perspectives, the years of conflict compellingly portrayed through narrative, song and dance. Some warriors do not even know the reason for war but are willing to pick up their arms in the name of their clan. Eventually it takes the wisdom of an elder to decide that the violence is destroying the Zulu nation. He suggests that only through dialogue can the conflict be resolved.

Maluju Zulu will have performances in The Playhouse Drama on October 23 at 19h00 and October 24 at 14h30. Tickets R20. Book through Computicket or Dial-a-Seat on 031-369 9555.




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