Press: David Kramer's Orpheus in Africa returns to the Fugard Theatre

September 24, 2015

Orpheus in Africa, the Fugard Theatre production of David Kramer’s brand new musical, will return to the Fugard Theatre from 22 September 2015.  It's world premiere limited season at the Fugard Theatre was sold out earlier this year.

“It’s always exciting for us to present musical theatre.” said Daniel Galloway Executive Director of the  Fugard Theatre. “But to be able to nurture and produce a new South African work is the most rewarding challenge of all. Unlike other shows that have been tried and tested on stages overseas, an original work like Orpheus in Africa has no predictable outcome. So we were especially thrilled at the overwhelming critical and box office response to it's first 'try-out, work-in-progress' season in February this year. For those who weren't able to get a ticket we offer an opportunity to see a work that David Kramer has 'fine-tuned' for the return season"

Orpheus in Africa is based on the little known story of Orpheus McAdoo and the Virginia Jubilee Singers’ tour of Queen Victoria’s colonies in the last decade of the 19th Century.

Orpheus McAdoo was a free born son of a slave and a graduate from The Hampton Institute in Virginia. He was the first African American impresario to perform in the British colony of South Africa where he and his group achieved unprecedented success. At the same time the musical charts the evolution of African American music from spirituals (Jubilee songs) to jazz and  includes several original songs by David Kramer.

Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre are proud to bring this brand new South African musical back to the Fugard main stage for the summer season. Virtually the whole original company returns to reprise their characters:

Aubrey Poo (Muvhango, Scandal, The Wild, Rent, Dreamgirls) will again lead the production, as Orpheus McAdoo, alongside Lynelle Kenned (West Side Story, Blood Brothers, Showboat), who also returns to the production, as Orpheus’s fiancé, Mattie Allen.

Also returning are: Jill Levenberg (Blood Brothers, Nancy), Jessica Sole (Beauty and the Beast, Annie), Dean Balie (Kat and the Kings, Blood Brothers), Sne Dladla (The Joke’s On You), Sanda Shandu (Presenter Search on 3), Bianca Flanders (Blood  Brothers, Dig), Edith Plaatjies (Slick Swing, Blood Brothers), Graham Bourne (Showboat), and Katlego Moncho (Lerato, Waiting for the Rain). 

Kramer and the Fugard Theatre are also delighted to announce that Natasha Hess (West Side Story), Carlo Daniels (Kat and the Kings, Blood Brothers), Robin Pieters (Vocal Mania, Kaapse Musiek in Colour 2) and Jarrad Ricketts (Boy Band Mania, The Standards) will join the company for this run.

Orpheus in Africa will open 22 September and is currently booking until 31 October 2015. Orpheus in Africa is an opportunity to step into the Victorian era and experience the powerful singing style of the Virginia Jubilee Concert Company as they recreate well known classics such as Roll Jordan Roll, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Hush and Deliver Daniel, and debut David Kramer's specially written songs.


David Kramer directs the production, and the creative team includes set designer Saul Radomsky (Kat and the Kings, The Shadow of the Hummingbird, Bad Jews), costume designer Birrie le Roux (Showboat, West Side Story) musical director and arranger Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (West Side Story, Cabaret, The Rocky Horror Show) and lighting designers Daniel Galloway and Benjamin du Plessis (The Rocky Horror Show).


An early-bird special offer of tickets to the first 6 preview performances all costing R130 is available. Thereafter, tickets ranging from R110 (slightly restricted view) to R220 are available through the Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554 or via Given how rapidly the first season sold out, advance booking is highly recommended.


The Fugard Theatre continues to offer excellent discounts and packages for block bookings, school groups and charities. Please contact Lamees Albertus on 021 461 4554 for more details and information on the huge discounts.



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