national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, October 4, 2010


(Pic: Sello Maake Ka-Ncube)

South African actor Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, leading light of stage, TV and film, is set to star in the world premiere of a stage adaptation of the late Lewis Nkosi’s prize-winning novel, Mating Birds. Adapted and directed by the highly respected South African theatre practitioner, Mpho Molepo, the new stage version of the celebrated work will have its world premiere in Durban during The Playhouse Company’s 2010 season of New Stages in October.

A black man and a white woman meet at the beach and end up making love. A case of rape is declared, and the man is sentenced to death. Such, in a nutshell, is the preamble to the new stage adaptation of Lewis Nkosi’s 1986 novel, Mating Birds, winner of the internationally prestigious Macmillan Pen Prize.

Multi award-winning actor Sello Maake Ka-Ncube (known to thousands for his leading TV roles in Generations and Scandal, and a string of international stage productions, including The Lion King, Woza Albert, Titus Andronicus, Othello, and many others) plays Ndi Sibiya, who tells his story from prison through engagement with a clinical psychologist, Dr Dufre, played by Durban’s widely-acclaimed Themi Venturas.

The piece is set during apartheid in South Africa. It plays out in a series of flash backs, evoked in dream sequences, as its protagonist, the unjustly accused Ndi, prepares to meet his fate on death row.

In adapting Nkosi’s famous novel for the stage, Molepo, working in collaboration with Ka-Ncube, has retained much of the graphic imagery as conjured by Nkosi’s own powerful writing. Don’t miss the rare opportunity of seeing one of this country’s greatest actors in this important piece of South African theatre during its premiere season.

Performances of Mating Birds are in The Playhouse Drama Theatre from October 14 to 16 at 19h30 with an extra matinee performance on October 16 at 14h30. Tickets at R60 can be booked through Computicket on 083 915800 or through the Playhouse Box Office on 031-369 9596 (office hours).