Vi­brant mu­si­cal brings it all home

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MPILETSO MOTUMI

HOPE, courage and love are the cen­tral themes around the new mu­si­cal Call­ing Me Home.

The story is about a young woman, Grace, who runs away from her hometown af­ter a civil war breaks out.

Her jour­ney takes her on a dis­cov­ery through the African con­ti­nent and across to a for­eign city.

The role of Grace is played by Lynelle Kenned, who also played a lead role in West Side Story ear­lier this year.

Kenned will take the au­di­ence through the ex­pe­ri­ences of joy and dan­ger as she nav­i­gates her way to find a home and true love.

The mu­si­cal will pre­miere on Au­gust 17 at The Man­dela Stage, Joburg Theatre.

Di­rected by Mag­da­lene Min­naar and writ­ten by com­poser and pro­ducer Alice Gill­ham, the mu­si­cal will be a cre­ative piece made by women.

Min­naar said the pro­duc­tion had the po­ten­tial to have a pro­found im­pact on the world.

“The con­tent is ex­tremely cur­rent and we have in­cred­i­bly tal­ented peo­ple in Africa. You rarely get a chance to be part of a brand new lo­cal pro­duc­tion of this cal­i­bre.”

Gill­ham, who wrote the book and the score for the mu­si­cal, has man­aged to fuse clas­si­cal mu­sic, African hy­brid, jazz and tra­di­tional folk song to cre­ate emo­tive mu­sic that brings the story to life.

Join­ing Kenned is Fresh­ly­ground’s Zolani Ma­hola, who plays the role of Lindiwe. The char­ac­ter has also fled her abu­sive home and be­comes friends with Grace. Fin­ish­ing off the main fe­male leads is Sa­man­tha Peo, who plays Is­abella – a trou­bled soul who fights ad­dic­tion to be­come a pil­lar in her com­mu­nity.

Min­naar said it was im­por­tant to choose the right peo­ple to play the roles.

“This is an op­por­tu­nity to bring their char­ac­ters to life for the first time. We have care­fully cho­sen hugely tal­ented singers who bring sto­ry­telling en­ergy, cre­ativ­ity and a spirit of ad­ven­ture to this jour­ney.

“Their en­ergy is amaz­ing and their tal­ent world-class,” she said.

Fel­low co-stars in­clude Anthony Down­ing as Rafael, Michael McMeek­ing as Ben and jazz singer Mu­sanete Sakup­wanya as Nel­son.

The mu­sic for the play is new and orig­i­nal, com­posed specif­i­cally for the pro­duc­tion, and songs will be re­leased to the public. Two songs have al­ready been re­leased – To­mor­row and Call­ing Me Home – sung by Kenned and Ma­hola. Call­ing Me Home runs un­til Septem­ber 3 and tick­ets start from R180 at Webtick­ets.

‘We have in­cred­i­bly tal­ented peo­ple’

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