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Wednesday, May 15, 2019


The Playhouse Company 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 this weekend.

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.”

With a duration of 85 minutes (no interval), Gone Native plays in The Playhouse Drama with schools performances will held on Wednesday and Thursday (May 15 and 16) at 10h00 (R30 tickets per learner booked through or call 031-369 9407).

Public performances are on Thursday May 16 at 19h00, Friday May 17 at 19h30, and Saturday May 18 at 14h00 and 19h00.  Book through Computicket outlets at selected branches of Shoprite Checkers, telephonically on 0861 915 8000, online at, or call Playhouse Box Office 031-369 9540/369 9596 (office hours).
For more about Gone Native and other upcoming shows at The Playhouse Company, visit, email Sindi Sabelo, The Playhouse Company’s Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator, at or call her on 031 369 9405.