Noth­ing beats par­tic­i­pa­tion

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music - Tanya MacNaughton

SOUTH African pro­duc­tion Drum­struck is the epit­ome of how the power of mu­sic unites peo­ple.

It all be­gan in 1996 when drum­ming jam ses­sions at War­ren Lieber­man’s Jo­han­nes­burg home grew to such large num­bers it en­cour­aged him to open The Drum Café.

“Af­ter apartheid we were just drum­ming for fun but we found there was a re­ally mixed crowd of both black and white peo­ple com­ing,” Lieber­man said.

“We re­alised some­thing spe­cial was hap­pen­ing in that it brought peo­ple to­gether.”

Lieber­man was soon asked to take drum­ming to cor­po­rate func­tions to ini­ti­ate work­place har­mony, which in turn in­spired the show Drum­struck that de­buted in Jo­han­nes­burg, moved to Broad­way for two years and has con­tin­ued to tour world­wide.

The magic of Drum­struck be­gins the mo­ment au­di­ence mem­bers en­ter the au­di­to­rium.

“There’s a drum each for ev­ery­one to play, so when you walk into the theatre you’ll see a drum on ev­ery chair. They’re beau­ti­ful and you can sit down and start mak­ing a noise,” Lieber­man said.

“What we do then is, through hu­mour and mime and teach­ing, get ev­ery­one to play along through the show.

“It’s never a school les­son and we teach peo­ple that be­ing part of mu­sic is much more fun than be­ing a pas­sive ob­server.

“We have three-year-olds watch­ing the show mes­merised and 78-year-olds do­ing ex­actly the same, re­ally shar­ing the com­mon ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The cast of seven per­form­ers also show­case tra­di­tional Zulu mu­sic, gum­boot dance and world mu­sic, com­bin­ing con­tem­po­rary and tra­di­tional.

“There are a whole lot of types of rhythms,” Lieber­man said.

“Mak­ing mu­sic and singing makes you a strong com­mu­nity and your worth as a hu­man be­ing is re­ally how you treat other peo­ple.”

Ev­ery­one has their own drum when they en­ter the theatre for a per­for­mance of Drum­struck.

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