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Wednesday, September 5, 2012


(Bheki Hlabisa and Senzi Mbhele. Pic by Val Adamson)

An award-winning KZN theatre production is set for a revival at Stable Theatre.

Maluju Zulu, one of KwaZulu-Natal’s most vibrant theatre works, returns to the Durban stage for the first time in six years. This widely admired piece of musical theatre is to be presented at Stable Theatre for a short season from September 13 to 16.

Previously staged at The Playhouse following a season in Gauteng where it was selected as the best production of the Market Theatre Laboratory’s Zwakala festival, Maluju Zulu tells a tale of love and war as clans go to battle over boundaries drawn by colonialism.

Written and directed by Bonkinkosi Shangase, the play is set during the time when British forces occupied the village of eNkandla. Focusing on a story of love struggling to survive in a context of brutal tribal wars, it reflects on how borders created between local communities during British occupation led to ongoing strife.

The production stars Khulekani Kunene, Bheki Hlabisa, Senzi Mbhele, Sibongile Dlamini, Senzi Mbhele, Sibongile Dlamini Mthethwa, Bongani Mbatha and Siphamandla Zwane.

The actors relive these historic perspectives, with the years of conflict compellingly portrayed through narrative, song and dance. Some warriors do not even know the reason for war, but are willing to pick up their arms in the name of their clan. Eventually, it takes the wisdom of an elder to decide that the violence is destroying the Zulu nation. He suggests that only through dialogue can the conflict be resolved.

Maluju Zulu makes the leap from community to the mainstream with finesse,” wrote veteran stage critic Adrienne Sichel in The Star. “Its freshness, that handmade touch, paired with passionate performances give [the show] its power…. Maluju Zulu epitomizes a valuable aspect of our theatre-making tradition, and heritage, which can be as entertaining as it is educational.”

Presented in association with Stable Theatre, the production of Maluju Zulu is supported by the KZN Department of Arts and Culture and Ethekwini Municipality.

Tickets R60 at the door. Advance bookings through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, or book online at Schools performances will be given on September 13 and 14 at 11h00 (R20 per learner). Evening shows from September 13 to 15 will be at 18h00 with a final matinee on September 16 (Heritage Day) at 15h00.