Vibrant musical brings it all home
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’