South African premiere of a crucible moment about Black Lives Matter

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Richard Lukunku and David Johnson starring in One Night in Miami photographer Iris Dawn Parker
Richard Lukunku and David Johnson starring in One Night in Miami photographer Iris Dawn Parker

One Night in Miami
An original stage play by Kemp Powers

The Market Theatre’s Artistic Director James Ngcobo will direct the South African premiere of Kemp Powers’ One Night in Miami at the Market Theatre.  First seen in Los Angeles in 2013, One Night in Miami is a critical reflection on different aspects of black power and historic issues that remain as relevant as ever. Produced with support from the US Embassy, One Night in Miami is the Market Theatre’s 2018 Black History Month offering.

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In a night of triumph, of shared history, of friendship four iconic black men share laughter, in-depth conversation and brotherhood. They gather to party but find themselves engulfed in a rancorous debate that will evoke the dreams and aspiration of the past and will challenge you to look at the inequalities of the present. One of the men is a delighted Cassius Clay, newly crowned world heavyweight champion and about to convert to Islam to become Muhammad Ali. He is joined by the superstar soul singer, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown, a famous footballer player anxious to launch his movie career and finally Malcom X, a feisty political icon who was at odds with the Nation of Islam.

One Night in Miami is a poignant piece of theatre based on the fictional retelling of a night shared by men who have left such visible footprints on their chosen careers. Featuring a top crop of actors billing David Johnson, Richard Lukunku, Lemogang Tsipa, Seneliso Dladla and Sipho Zakwe, One Night in Miami will deliver a dramatic punch to last a lifetime.

Black History Month is an annual observance in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom for the remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. The Market Theatre has been South Africa’s leading performing arts institution providing high quality and inspiring productions as part of its annual Black History Month observances. Past productions are The Amen Corner 2008, The Brothers Size 2012, The Colored Museum 2014, Ketekang 2014, A Tribute to Maya Angelou 2016, A Raisin in the Sun 2016 and The Meeting 2017 that resonate with local audiences.

Black History Month is also a learning platform for young people to experience and understand the past which is crucial for any future reconciliation. As South Africa grapples with issues of racial inequalities amid unrest which some might argue is fueled by the politics of today and the #BlackLivesMatters campaign challenging police brutality towards people of color, this year’s offering of One Night in Miami will offer dynamic insights about how hostility amongst people is fed or reduced.

One Night in Miami will be staged in the John Kani at the Market Theatre from 2 – 25 February. Previous Black History Month productions have always sold out so early booking of your tickets is advised.

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