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RAIN (article first published : 2006-06-2)

Rain, a children's musical based on an ancient San tale which focuses on the age-old battle between good and evil will run at the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg, for two performances.

Established Durban performers Wendy Nell and Gisele Turner, who directed the production, 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.

Against their mother's 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 mesmerised the sky-girls. A dramatic story unfolds, with dance, song, music, puppetry and mime accompanying narration and dialogue.

Wendy Nell, who is a well-known ceramicist and sculptress, 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 billed as an inspiring production. Not only does it pay homage to the cultural heritage of one of the most ancient tribes of Southern Africa, but also introduces audiences to fascinating musical sounds and a wide range of story-telling techniques. It is performed in English and isiZulu and runs for 50 minutes.

Performances will be held at the Hexagon Theatre on the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg campus on June 14 and 15 at 18h00. Tickets R25 (R20pp family special for four or more). Seating is unreserved. Tickets at the door or booked by phoning 033 260 5537 or e-mail hexagon@ukzn.ac.za




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