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Friday, February 12, 2021


(Right: Cue Ngema & Sesesuth Magalela)

Menzi Mkhwane, who is fast becoming one of the most important theatre directors in KZN, believes that his importance is informed by his willingness not to give up on the arts. Despite the Corona virus having shut down many businesses, especially theatre, it is impossible to think anyone would still want to be even considering going back to creating a play.

But this Valentine’s weekend, Mkwane is bringing a musical dance love story to give people hope. As he says; “Theatre still has the chance to give people relief and I think if the quality of the experience is high enough people will come out safely to come and attend.”

Mkhwane strongly believes in collaborating and he does it well religiously in each production he puts on.

“Last year we put on a ground-breaking nativity musical production and I was working with a great musician and friend Mathew Hoffman as well as Sboniso Ncwane alongside Noluthando Ngcobo to deliver a new version to this old universal story and we were extremely successful,” says Mkhwane of his musical Jesu.

It hasn’t been easy for any of us considering what this pandemic will do to all industries and to the arts in particular but it comes to Mkhwane as an opportunity to give people hope.

On the month of love Mkhwane premiers his first ever love story on stage TholuThando which translates to Finding Love. He has partnered with a new creative team to bring this show to life.

The show is a two-hander featuring a Durban new-comer and DUT Drama graduate Sesesuth Magalela and multi award-winning dancer and Durban-based choreographer Cue Ngema as well as prominent Durban-based songstress Ayanda Nxumalo and gospel music extraordinaire and musical director Tyson Shezi .

Mkhwane’s love story is set in Mthatha where a very young couple - Nkanyiso Magwaza and Nokwazi Mgwaza - live in a small two-roomed house in the township. They are struggling financially but all they have is each other and the dreams they have of a better future.

In the opening scene, Nkanyiso Magwaza who is 22 years old is dreaming about his upcoming audition in Durban and takes his wife on a journey as they fantasize about how well they will do once they have all the money they need. So they dance together in the small kitchen dreaming about big houses and cars they will own in the future which will make them happier.

A day before Nkanyiso leaves for Durban to audition to be part of Adoeete Theatre the biggest theatre in Durban city, he is told by his wife to promise to come back and he does but little does he know what the sitting will do to destroy their simple love.

The story is performed in a mixture of dance and music and ABAHAMBAYO perform a mixture of love songs from all over the world as the story unfolds for the audience.

The story will also be a melting pot of cultures as Nokwazi is Xhosa and Nkanyiso is Zulu and Mkhwane has designed the piece to be performed in three languages, Zulu, Xhosa and English.

“We want to celebrate this diversity because it’s a very South African thing. Audiences must expect to be taken on a heart-warming journey that will keep them glued to their seats and often at the edges as well.”

TholuThando opens at the Durban Music School and performances take place on February 25 at 18h00; February 26 at 18h00; February 27 at 14h00 and 18h00 and on February 28 at 14h00.

Tickets R100 and there are discount concessions (R180) for couples.

There is a limited seating arrangement of 50 people.

Covid protocol will be observed. No mask no entry, temperature will be checked at the door and sanitising will be done before entry.

For more information, contact 079 554 4941. There is covered safe parking. The Durban Music School is situated at 21 Diakonia Avenue, Durban Central.