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Wednesday, April 5, 2023



(Above: Anele Nene)

The Playhouse Company, in association with MagentaPro, is thrilled to announce the Durban premiere of The Hymns of a Sparrow.

Following a successful run at the National Arts Festival, where it won the Standard Bank ovation award, the one-man show The Hymns of a Sparrow will premiere in Durban at the Playhouse.

The Hymns of a Sparrow is a comedy with a touch of drama. Set in the rural areas of eKuphileni, it tells the story of Babu Mngadi who countlessly fights surrounding cattle owners because their cattle eat off his garden. Babu Mngadi’s sudden tragedy then explores grief and the hardships of letting go of those you love and hold dear in your heart. The story is narrated by a 10-year-old Simlindile who takes the audience on a journey of Mr. Mngadi and how the chief of eKuphileni got involved.

MagentaPro’s producer comments, “The most difficult challenge for men is balancing societal expectations and stereotypes. What happens when all your loved ones are gone? How do you manage that discomfort? What do you do as the head of the family when there is no one to lead? I love these kinds of themes because we rarely see them.” She further adds, “We are thrilled to be working with The Playhouse Company again, especially on such an important project as The Hymns of a Sparrow. This show will inspire the audience and, most importantly, keep them entertained."

The multitalented Anele Nene, who recently returned from a successful international tour with a renowned Sello Maake-ka Ncube theatre production, Bloke and His American Bantu performs The Hymns of a Sparrow. Nene has appeared in numerous TV commercials and TV shows, including DSTV Insurance and STILL, in which he played Robert Sibuke. Over the years, Nene has been nominated for Naledi Awards and has performed on some of South Africa's most prestigious theatre stages, including The Joburg Theatre, Market Theatre, South African State Theatre, and National Arts Festival.

Nene who is also a writer and director of the show says, “My late father's death inspired me to write this play. I recall sitting down and reminiscing about the days we'd spent together, the things we laughed about, and the things about him that were generally amusing. So the idea of writing a show about a nerve-wracking landlord struck me! Of course, the landlord would be exactly like my father—he'd walk like him, talk like him, and be my father—and after a while of writing, the story completely changed - something I didn't expect to happen.

My father was murdered about a week after I travelled to Dundee to bury my late best friend. The story became more about my healing than anything else” Nene continues “Writing The Hymns of a Sparrow was a form of therapy for me. Which it did for others (including the audience). The audience can expect to see me - by that I mean; the way I think, who I am, and in a way, they’ll get to see how I deal with life.”

The Hymns of a Sparrow will be performed in The Playhouse Company’s Loft theatre from April 18 to 22, 2023.

Performances are:

Tuesday to Friday: Schools at 09h00 and 12h00

Wednesday to Friday, public performance at 18h00 and 14h00 on Saturday.


Tickets start at R50 and are available from Webtickets, selected Pick 'n Pay stores, and the Playhouse Box Office. There are group and senior discounts available.


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