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Wednesday, May 4, 2011


The acclaimed mini-musical Happiness Through the Mist is set for a brief return to the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg.

Gcugcwa Creative Production’s enchanting production returns for two performances at the Hexagon Theatre on May 13 and 14 after an absence of two years in this venue, and follows the acclaimed production’s successful runs in the Playhouse Loft and the Catalina Theatre in Durban and performances at last year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

This admired mini-musical, which depicts the colourful life of Durban’s historic Umkhumbane in the 1950s, began life at the Hexagon where its initial ‘try-out’ performances took place in 2009.

Written and directed by Zeph Nzama and starring Thabani Mahlobo, Scelo Ngcobo and Muzi Mhlanga, with renowned Durban muso Madala Kunene on guitar, Happiness Through the Mist offers popular entertainment for theatre-goers of all communities. A compelling mixture of infectious music, wry humour and dialogue, the show celebrates the extraordinary cultural heritage of Ethekwini’s historic Umkhumbane district, Durban’s equivalent of Johannesburg’s legendary Sophia Town and Cape Town’s former District Six.

Umkhumbane (evacuated and flattened during apartheid to become known as Cato Manor) was the birthplace of many legendary South African artists. These people grew up in a community which today is remembered as much for its colourful and vibrant community life as for the harsh realities of poverty and material deprivation they endured.

“South Africa has a very interesting history… if you know about District Six, Sophia Town and Umkhumbane, you will know what I’m talking about,” says Zeph Nzama, one of Durban’s most respected actors and directors. Happiness Through the Mist recounts elements of the history of Umkhumbane, portraying its music, dance and vibrant atmosphere that once existed until the forced removals of the late 1950s. “The aim of our production is to bring people together, from all walks of life and backgrounds. We want to encourage our brothers and sisters from all race groups in this country to share something of our past with us, so that we can find a common bond for the future. For this reason we have not dwelt on things that separate us from each other: Happiness Through the Mist is conceived as an entertaining and touching production full of humour, energy and all that makes theatre a powerful and lingering experience.”

Happiness Through the Mist runs at the Hexagon Theatre on the UKZN campus in Pietermaritzburg on May 13 and 14 at 19h30. Tickets R70 (R40 students). Booking on 033 260 5537.