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SHOSHOLOZA (article first published : 2008-07-8)

After performing in their home town of Pietermaritzburg, Shosholoza: The Musical, about life in the Gauteng mines, comes to the Playhouse Opera in Durban from July 9.

Shosholoza is an innovative theatrical musical that is set to take both the South African and world theatre-going audience on a spellbinding journey about life in the gold mines. It is set at a fictitious mine called “The Highveld Gold Fields Mines” situated not far from Johannesburg, Gauteng.

Ably staged by the recipient of the 1995 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year, playwright John Malusi Ledwaba, Shosholoza features lighting design by Kenneth Bolokwe and set design by Henry Paul. Ledwaba has cleverly written his script incorporating all the elements of traditional storytelling with a fair dollop of comedy relief and loads of humour enveloped with serious dramatic tension.

Shosholoza looks at the highs and lows of the life of a newly-recruited mineworker Jabulani Makhathini from the rural villages of KwaZulu-Natal. Jabulani gets so mesmerized by both the good times and the hardships of life in the mines that he ends up neglecting his responsibilities as a married man. He becomes a Heavy-Weight Stick Fighting Champion which affords him the opportunity of falling in love with fellow woman mineworker, Mavi.

The production examines the loss of life due to HIV/AIDS, non-safety compliant mine proprietors, and the controversial introduction of women mineworkers in 2001.

Musically, Shosholoza embraces the rich traditions South Africa’s kaleidoscope of indigenous languages and cultures delivered with the vocal prowess of a strong cast of 32 members. Mthandeni Mvelase of Sarafina fame is the musical captain of Shosholoza. Coupled with pulsating dance routine inspired by both the classic mine dance moves and other intricate and sharp footwork sequences taken from modern South African dance moves, are tightly choreographed by celebrated Brian Mazibuko.

Shosholoza is packed with enough quality entertainment value to attract the whole family. It runs from July 9 to 12 nightly at 19h00 and on July 13 at 15h00. Tickets R60 and R70 booked through Computicket or during office hours through The Playhouse Box Office, on 031 369 9540 or 031 369 9596. There is a block booking discount (R50 for ten or more) and a scholar discount of R35.




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