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Tricycle turns to South Africa

Published 13 May 2009

Following its Afghanistan festival, The Great Game, the Tricycle theatre embarks on another country-specific season this summer with the British premieres of work by South African playwrights Lara Foot Newton and David Kramer.

The Tricycle welcomes Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre Centre to the UK on 16 June with its award-winning production of Foot Newton’s Karoo Moose, a story of pain, redemption and hope which combines traditional African storytelling with magical realism. The story is set in a remote and impoverished village in the Karoo, South Africa, where a young girl, Thozama, struggles to survive. A violent and terrifying incident and a chance encounter with an escaped moose change her life forever.  

Zoleka Helesi, Mdu Kweyama, Bongile Mantsai, Thami Mbongo, Chuma Sopotela and Mfundo Tshazibane, who all appeared in the play at Baxter Theatre Centre, reprise their roles at the Tricycle.

Foot Newton, who also directs Karoo Moose, is an established writer, director and screenwriter in South Africa, where she has directed new South African work – including her own plays Hear And Now and Tschepang – and contemporary classics.

Following Karoo Moose, which plays until 11 July, renowned writer, director and composer David Kramer brings his new musical work Koos Sas: Last Bushman Of Montagu to the Tricycle theatre from 14 July to 1 August (press night 16 July).

Performed in Afrikaans with English surtitles, the piece tells the story of the notorious Khoisan, Koos Sas, who was accused of murdering a shopkeeper in Montagu, South Africa, in 1917. The last of the ‘bushmen robbers’, he was eventually shot as an outlaw. Kramer reimagines Koos Sas as a rebellious hero, a thorn in the side of farmers and the state, in this musical drama which sets a love story against a background of racism and subjugation.

South African-born Kramer has dedicated his 30-year career to exploring South African identity and political history through songwriting and musical theatre. He is well-known for his collaborations with the late Taliep Peterson, including District Six, Spice Drum Beat: Ghoema and Kat And The Kings, which was produced at the Tricycle theatre in 1997, before transferring to the West End and winning the 1999 Best New Musical Laurence Olivier Award.

Loukmaan Adams and Jody Abrahams, previously seen at the Tricycle in Kat And The Kings, appear in the cast of Koos Sas: Last Bushman Of Montagu, which also features Natalie Cervati, Nicholas Ellenbogen and Robert Koen.

The two plays follow The Great Game: Afghanistan, the Tricycle’s ambitious 12-play festival which runs at the Kilburn venue until 14 June.

CB

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