‘Orpheus in Africa’ returns by popular demand

‘Orpheus in Africa’ returns by popular demand

After a sold out “try out” season of David Kramer’s ‘Orpheus in Africa’ that played to capacity houses in February earlier this year, the hit musical will return to the Fugard on Tuesday, September 22, and will run until October 31. To celebrate the Fugard Theatre is offering all tickets for the first week (only) at R130 per ticket.

Audiences were enthralled by this little known and unusual story about Orpheus McAdoo and the Virginia Jubilee Singers who came to South Africa from the USA in 1890. Their tour began in Scotland where Orpheus met Lady Loch – the wife of the British Governor of the Cape – who invited them to Cape Town. It was here some 125 years ago that the Jubilee Singers became an unlikely overnight sensation.

Kramer’s young company recreate the unique vocal style of that period, singing some of the well known jubilee spirituals, such as ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ and ‘The Gospel Train’ as well as new songs composed by Kramer.

The creative team includes set designer Saul Radomsky, costume designer Birrie le Roux, choir master Alistair Izobell, music director and arranger Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and lighting designers Daniel Galloway and Benjamin du Plessis.

“It’s always exciting for us to present musical theatre,” says Galloway, who is also the Executive Director of the Fugard Theatre. “But to be able to nurture and produce a new South African work is the most rewarding challenge of all. Unlike other shows that have been tried and tested on stages overseas, an original work like ‘Orpheus in Africa’ had no predictable outcome. So we were especially thrilled at the overwhelming critical and box office response to its first ‘try-out, work-in-progress’ season in February. For those who weren’t able to get a ticket we offer an opportunity to see a work that David Kramer has ‘fine-tuned’ for the return season.” Virtually the whole original company returns to reprise their characters: Aubrey Poo (‘Muvhango’, ‘Scandal’, ‘The Wild’, ‘Rent’, ‘Dreamgirls’) will again lead the production, as Orpheus McAdoo, alongside Lynelle Kenned (‘West Side Story’, ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘Showboat’), who also returns to the production, as Orpheus’s fiancé, Mattie Allen.

Also returning are: Jill Levenberg (‘Blood Brothers’, ‘Nancy’), Jessica Sole (‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Annie’), Dean Balie (‘Kat and the Kings’, ‘Blood Brothers’), Sne Dladla (‘The Joke’s On You’), Sanda Shandu (‘Presenter Search on 3’), Bianca Flanders (‘Blood Brothers’, ‘Dig’) and Edith Plaatjies (‘Slick Swing’, ‘Blood Brothers’).

Carlo Daniels (‘Kat and the Kings’, ‘Blood Brothers’), Robin Pieters (‘Vocal Mania’, ‘Kaapse Musiek in Colour 2’), and Jarrad Ricketts (‘Boy Band Mania’, ‘The Standards’) have joined the company for this run.

* Tickets are available through the Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554; or via Computicket.com.