Sarafina! Returns to Joburg Theatre

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From July 19 to August 11, 2019, the Joburg Theatre will restage the internationally acclaimed musical Sarafina! on the Mandela Stage.

Directed by Nhlanhla Ngema and starring Noxolo Dlamini as Sarafina, the musical, which was also made into a film starring Whoopi Goldberg in 1992, tells the story of the 1976 Soweto uprising from the perspective of the students who were involved in it. It also ran at the Cort Theatre on Broadway from January 28, 1988, to July 2 1989, after 597 performances and 11 previews.

“I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to direct this internationally acclaimed Broadway hit musical Sarafina! that I was part of the original cast,” Ngema said.

“I have always aspired to direct a big musical production and it is fantastic that my first big production as a director is Sarafina! I am grateful to my brother, Mbongeni Ngema, for realising my potential, grooming me and giving me this opportunity.”

Joburg City Theatres artistic director Makhaola Ndebele said: “It is befitting that South Africa’s most successful theatrical export return to the Mandela Stage for a second season at Joburg Theatre to give both veterans and new theatregoers an unforgettable experience of this rich musical legacy.

“As we have witnessed with past generations, this world-class production is capable of reigniting the belief within young people to overcome whatever challenges their generation has to contend with.”

Sarafina! – through story, song and dance – follows the activities of a fictional class at Morris Isaacson High School against the backdrop of students in 1976 revolting against Afrikaans being used as a medium of instruction. This musical deals with the radicalisation of a young school girl, Sarafina, who becomes embroiled in the riots and is tortured by the South African police. She inspires her classmates with her commitment to the struggle against the apartheid government.

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