Woza Albert! returns to Joburg Theatre

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Woza Albert. Photo by Lauge Sorensen
Woza Albert. Photo by Lauge Sorensen

Woza Albert returns to the Joburg Theatre by popular demand for a limited season in Youth Month.

Joburg Theatre is proud to present Woza Albert! by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon, on The Fringe Theatre stage from Friday 1 June – Sunday 17 June.

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Woza Albert! remains one of the most vibrant examples of satirical anti-apartheid South African Theatre. It demonstrates innovation and creativity during a seminal period of theatre in this country.

Woza Albert! is still a relevant story today; a school set-work in the South African GDE school curriculum. The theatre piece is a great tool for audience development while assisting schools with their school curriculum. The play portrays so much truth and clarifies a simple approach to the human condition, therefore makes it relevant to South Africa.

Woza Albert!
Woza Albert!

Segomotso Modise and Hamilton Dhlamini play the roles of various black South Africans – a vendor, barber, domestic worker, manual labourer and soldier – receiving the news that Christ (Morena) has arrived in South Africa, where a Calvinist white elite imposes apartheid.

2018 SAFTA award winner for Best Actor – TV Soap/Telenovela, Hamilton Dhlamini had a starring role as bumbling private investigator TT in the Mzansi Magic comedy series Boomba and TT in 2012. In 2015 he had a starring role as Mnqobi Simelane, a self-made man in his 40s who is in a polygamous marriage with two wives and a possible third, in the e.tv drama series Umlilo.

Segomotso Modise started his theatre career in 2005 starring in a production titled Question Mark which earned him the award for best actor in the leading role in the Stop Crime Drama Festival. In 2014 he made his musical debut when he starred in Marikana – The Musical by Aubrey Sekhabi which walked away with 6 Naledi awards, and after a sensational performance he was called to star in the recent musical, Taking Back The Future, by Tshepo Ratona and Presley Chweneyagae.

His television work includes an awareness ad for children and women abuse and a guest appearance in a popular local sitcom Ga Re Dumele… and his International tours include Germany, Amsterdam, Austria, Poland and the UK, with various acclaimed award-winning plays like ‘Interracial’ and ‘Rocksburg’ just to name a few.

The two theatre veterans make it easy for an audience to relate in the new South Africa where people are desperate for a better life despite their political freedom. The parts played by Bheki and Hamilton show off their skills in acting, mime, singing and dance. They also create images using a few words and actions.

The play is a political satire that imagines the second coming of Christ in apartheid-era South Africa. It looks at a wide range of characters in South Africa at the beginning of the 1980s and attacks the pass laws that prevented Black people from moving freely at the time. The production uses the metaphor of Morena (Jesus) to show what would happen if he came back to South Africa during apartheid. Would he like what he saw? And if he saw the atrocities of the time then why would he not do anything about them?

Woza Albert! runs at The Fringe Theatre @ Joburg Theatre from 1 – 17 June 2018.

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