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Sophiatown to be performed at the new Soweto Theatre during April

March 22, 2013
Soweto Theatre in Jabulani

Soweto Theatre in Jabulani

Sophiatown, written by The Junction Avenue Theatre and first performed in 1986, is opening at the new Soweto Theatre, performed by the Sophiatown-based Kofifi Theatre Company to celebrate 100 years of Sophiatown being a neighbourhood. It is directed by Billy Langa and Makhomo Tsepa.

Kofifi Theatre Company was formed by a group of Huddleston Centre ambassadors in 2010 and toured to the UK with three previous productions, including at the Contact the World Youth Theatre Festival, which selected 12 theatre companies from across the globe to collaborate together.

Kofifi works in partnership with the UK-based Gloucester Theatre Company, who cast two of Kofifi’s members in lead parts for their own productions – Othello (Kessington Moolman) and The Crucible (Makhomo Tsepa). Alexander Gifford and Adrian Locher, from Gloucester TC are co-producers on the Sophiatown project.

Sophiatown tells the story of the vibrant multi-cultural freehold suburb between central Johannesburg and Soweto where 60 000 people lived in chaotic harmony until forced removals in 1955. The arrival of a Jewish girl to stay in the tiny house of Mamariti, a shebeen queen, forces everyone to confront the realities of life under apartheid – and the shared pain that dictates their futures.

Through songs and comedy, the eight characters bring alive the dreams of gangster Mingus and writer Jakes, Ruth and schoolgirl Lulu; Fafhee the passionate congress member calls for protest and everyone hopes that the removals will be avoided.

The play showcases at the Soweto theatre from Friday, 5 to Sunday, 7 April, with matinee performances on Saturday, 6 and Sunday, 7. Pensioners can book at a discounted price. A special schools performance is scheduled at the Joburg Theatre for Thursday, 11 April at 15:00.

The production is sponsored through grants from NAC, Trevor Huddleston Centre, and private support including Gloucester Theatre Company and the ASHA Centre, UK, to mark the Centenary of Sophiatown and its emergence as a multi-racial suburb once again.

Tickets: R35 per person at the door or in advance:

Soweto Theatre dates: Friday, 5 April at 19:00; Saturday, 6 April at 15:00 and 20:00; Sunday, 7 April at 17:00. Tickets from THMC on 011 673 1271 or 083 550 7130 or by emailing

Joburg Theatre dates: Thursday, 11 April at 15:00 and 19:30; Friday, 12 April at 19:30; Saturday, 13 April at 15:00 and 20:00; and Sunday, 14 April at 17:00. Contact 0861 670 670 or for more information.

For information and school bookings contact Khosi at 011 673 1271 or 083 550 7130. Please note that no under 14’s are allowed.

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