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Tuesday, May 7, 2019


The Playhouse Company is proud to announce it will present Gone Native – the critically acclaimed musical theatre production that bears the indelible imprint of the late South African jazz legend, Dr Hugh Masekela, for a short season in May 2019.

Written and directed by the award-winning actor and playwright, Makhaola Ndebele, Gone Native was first presented by Soweto Theatre in August 2017 with music composed by Hugh Masekela.

An inspiring piece of theatre that tells of love across the colour bar in 1950s apartheid South Africa, Gone Native highlights the power of love and youth in the fight against unjust government laws in a prejudiced society.

The production focuses on Regina Brooks, a white woman who reached notoriety when she asked to be reclassified as a coloured woman. Brooks was arrested under the Immorality Act of the time for living with a black man, Sergeant Richard Khumalo, and appealed to be classified in order to be with her black partner and their daughter Thandi.

Author-director Ndebele, speaking about the genesis of Gone Native to The Star newspaper, said: “It’s a love story at the heart of it. Love does not choose, politics aside. But when you are attracted to someone, that’s what it is. There are no social boundaries. The story is about young people deciding what they want for themselves, and the State trying to stop that – but they fought it until the end.”

Touching on the issue of identity, Ndebele continued: “Another theme is that sense of belonging. We have so many different groups as Africans. It’s that kind of time when people ask where they fit in. This is a question that leads to reflection about all these identities; what do they mean, why do we take them for granted? The musical has never been more relevant. It shows how young people have the power to reimagine their lives. We are looking for that now. It’s a new South African musical. It’s fresh music. We’re really starting a story from scratch.”

Maritjie Bothma (Regina Brooks) and Soyiso Ndaba (Richard Khumalo) head the ensemble cast that includes Isana Maseko; Ayand Hlangothi; Kanyi Lukanyiso Nokwe, and Kgomotso “Momo” Matsunyane.

Joining director Makhaola Ndebele on the creative and production team of Gone Native are Mandla Mtshali (lighting designer); Thando Lobese-Moropa (set and costume designer); Douglas Sekete (choreographer); Mthobisi Cele (sound), and Emily Khola (stage manager)

The show’s four-piece band comprises Ezbie Oakantse Moilwa (music director/pianist); Ntokozo Zungu (lead guitar), Fana Abednigo Zulu (bass guitar), and Lebogang Mokhela (percussion).

With a duration of 85 minutes (no interval), Gone Native plays in The Playhouse Drama for a limited run from May 15 to 19, 2019, so early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

Schools performances will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, May 15 and 16 at 10h00 (R30 tickets per learner booked through or call 031 369 9407).

Public performances at R80 per person are on May 16 at 19h00, May 17 at 19h30, and May 18 at 14h00 and 17h00. Book through Webtickets Online, available at all Pick n Pay stores, telephone: 086 111 0005 or call Playhouse Box Office 031 369 9540/369 9596 (office hours).