By Temba Msiza
The South African State Theatre played host to the second run of Sophiatown, which opened on April 24 and closed on May 14.
The production is a fun-filled show infused with political topics, music, and rebellion, all played out by an array of colourful characters from shebeen queens and gangsters to politicians.
It is a lively, memorable and very entertaining musical that has been revived with a new, young and very talented cast under the experienced eye of director Aubrey Sekhabi, who is also producing the upcoming Marikana The Musical, starring Aubrey Poo.
The play centres on a black family that accommodates a white Jewish lady by the name Ruth Goldin, who, quite frankly, does not know what a Jew is! It is set in Sophiatown in the 1940s and 1950s, when black and white people were not allowed to interact in any way.
Regardless of this, the ‘family’ lives together in harmony, and, like every family, they have their unpleasant times, but manage to bury the hatchet with the help of a bottle of ingudu.
It is a super exciting and emotional production, one that can make you double over with laughter while shedding a tear at the sheer emotion contained in it.
What made the experience chilling (in a good way!) were the humongous harmonies that follow the smooth a capella Kofifi jams that are interspersed throughout the show.
It is not a typical apartheid-era play, it goes further than that and highlights the parts of our history that is not spoken about. One a scale of one to 10 we would have to give it a 12, if only for the uniqueness of the script and the musical score, which had us captivated from the time the curtain went up to the last round of applause.
Although the play closed on Sunday, we are crossing our fingers that there is a renewal in the pipeline. Stories like Sophiatown need to be told, since, as they say, those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.
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