Identical twins for Playhouse New Stages Season


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Presented by The Playhouse Company, Izipopolo is a collaboration between Neil Coppen and twin brothers/actors Musawenkosi and Bongumusa Shabalala.

Izipopolo (which means ‘binoculars’ in isiZulu) is a moving and poetic 50-minute play that follows the journey of identical twin brothers Thabo and Thabani. The fable follows the twins from the moment they first meet in their mother’s womb, through to their difficult adolescence and coming of age in KwaMashu, near Durban.

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The play explores what happens when one of the brothers decides to forge an identity separate from the other, and whether or not it is possible for each to exist and function in isolation.

Presented by The Playhouse Company as part of its annual New Stages festival, Izipopolo is a collaboration between multi-award winning theatre-maker and director Neil Coppen (Tin Bucket Drum, Animal Farm) and identical twin brothers and actors Musawenkosi and Bongumusa Shabalala.

Calling on local traditions of story-telling and physical theatre, the creators of Izipopolo weave a compelling tale of brotherhood, love, loss and duality, combining a rich range of twin mythology from across the African continent, Zulu folklore and the lived experiences of the twin performers and narrators.

Izipopolo offers a fascinating glimpse into the intertwined identities of twin siblings and how society around them grapples to comprehend and make sense of this unusual phenomenon. Most of all, the play explores the unshakeable and often complex bond that exists between brothers.

Izipopolo runs from 12 to 14 May at The Playhouse Loft Theatre. Booking via Computicket outlets nationwide, and tickets can also be obtained from the Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540/9596 for R65. Discounted block bookings can be made via (031) 369 9407 or by emailing Discounted parking is available at the Royal Hotel parkade or at the Albany Grove parkade.

For images and further information, please contact Latoya Goldstone, The Playhouse Company’s Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator on 031 369 9460, email:


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