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Sunday, October 5, 2014


Blue Crane Arts has teamed up with Catalina Theatre to make the theatre more interactive for hearing impaired people.

On October 8 at 12 noon, the Durban Children’s Festival at Catalina Theatre will have a sign language interpreter for the production, uMthakati. This would allow for entertainment for the entire family, including the hearing impaired.

Blue Crane Arts (Pty) Ltd is an emerging company that promotes the arts in totality. The vision of the company is to integrate special need youth and mainstream youth, who excel in arts, to form a truly inclusive society, irrespective of disability, cultural differences and socio-economic status.

The cast of uMthakati all have a diagnosed disability.

Araav Ranglall (8) is diagnosed with classic autism. In his everyday life, he avoids direct eye contact with people and blocks out any loud noise. On stage, however, he thrives on audience interaction and enjoys the sound effects and music on stage.

Athenkosi Mavana (16) is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He tends to drag his feet when he walks, but when on stage, he loves dancing and the restricted movement of his feet is ‘invisible’ to the audience.

Melusi Ngcobo (18) plays the lead role of the uMthakati. He has a shunt inserted into his head since a toddler which has led to a learning disability. However, when he performs, he has the ability to take the audience into a believable onstage experience.

The story, uMthakati, is about a misunderstood ‘sangoma’. The idea of physically creating a face for the uMthakati through the use of dramatic make-up immediately captures the audience’s attention to form a judgement. This leads to the central theme of appearance versus reality. This family musical production is a rollercoaster of emotions that will leave the audience wanting to watch it again and again. Catalina Theatre has generously reduced price of tickets for uMthakati on October 8 at 12h00.

More information from Neena Pitamber on 083 260 8454 or email: or visit their Facebook page, Blue Crane Arts. Pre-booked tickets available through Computicket at 086 191 5800 or online at