Return of the Ancestors that runs from 06 to 15 November 2014 at the Arena Theatre, is a hard-hitting satire by Mike van Graan that genuflects to the South African classic Woza Albert, in which Jesus returns to South Africa during the apartheid era.
In Return of the Ancestors, the Council of Ancestors decides to send a two-person delegation – Steve Biko and Neil Aggett – back to South Africa during its twentieth year of democracy to see if the sacrifices of those who were killed in the struggle against apartheid had been worth it. Biko and Aggett travel through the country, having a variety of encounters with living and inanimate objects along their way to Nkandla, where the major celebration of the benefits of democracy will take place. Two young actors, Mandisi Sindo and Siya Sikawuti, play several characters in this piece that is directed by Mdu Kweyama who won acclaim for his direction of a version of Van Graan’s Brothers in Blood as a dance-drama piece. Set and costumes are designed by Francois Knoetze and lighting is designed by Kobus Rossouw.
The Artscape Spring Drama Season forms part of Artscape’s New Writing Programme that is devoted to the professional writing and production of new South African plays. The programme receives more than 50 unsolicited scripts per year from playwrights writing in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. Once a play has been identified as having promise the playwright works with an editor and director to undertake the re-writing, and the play may then be given a Showcase performance or a Performed Reading. If well received, it is then considered for a Full Production.
The SDS 2014 line up boasts stimulating and varied productions from across the country, providing a platform for new local talent to exhibit their work alongside some of the most esteemed theatre makers in the industry. This year’s programme began with The Garage Sale, followed by the first Showcase called Ingubo Emhlophe, and the double bill consisting of Chomi and Undone.
Return of the Ancestors by Mike van Graan (Associate Playwright at Artscape) is the penultimate production. The second Showcase, Ndithungile Selani by DV Thom, is adapted by Thoko Ntshinga. It forms part of the newly introduced Artscape isiXhosa Classics and brings the 10th Aniversary Spring Drama Season to a close.
All performances take place at the Artscape Arena Theatre and booking is via Computicket or 021 421 7695.
Press release provided by Allison Foat, DIVA PR.