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SOPHIATOWN (article first published : 2000-10-10)

The musical Sophiatown was created by the Junction Avenue Theatre Company in the 80ís when resistance to the South African National Party government rose to unprecedented levels. Set in the 50ís, the show tells of the enforced removal and resettlement of the population of Sophiatown along with the destruction of this freehold township near central Johannesburg.

Twenty years on, an exuberant young cast will sing, dance and act their way through this revival of Sophiatown as a tribute to South Africa's struggle against apartheid and to tell its history to a younger generation. The play is a set text on the matric drama syllabus and the Performance Studies Programme at the University of Natal Durban will mount the musical in response to a request earlier this year from the Department of Education and Culture.

The cast for this vibrant musical includes talented newcomers from the UNDís second and third year drama programme. Director is lecturer Christopher Hurst who has worked extensively in international film, television and theatre. He also worked for three years with the Royal Shakespeare Company and, more recently, has spent time working as a cultural/theatre activist in Zimbabwe.

Sophiatown will play at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from October 10 to 14. Book at Computicket.




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