Lu­rayi lands big Nina Si­mone role

Mu­si­cal in­spired by song about bomb blast

Sowetan - - Timeout Theatre - By Pa­tience Bam­balele

After go­ing un­der the radar for a while, TV star Busi Lu­rayi re­turns to act­ing with a lead role in the Nina Si­mone mu­si­cal show.

Ti­tled Nina Si­mone Four Women, Lu­rayi teamed up with tal­ented stars Ler­ato Mve­lase, Mona Monyane Sken­jana and Nox­olo Dlamini.

The show opens on Fe­bru­ary 1 at the Mar­ket The­atre, as part of Black His­tory Month cel­e­bra­tions.

Lu­rayi, who took some time off to en­joy be­ing a mother to her four-year-old daugh­ter and es­tab­lish her own con­tent pro­duc­tion com­pany, is ex­cited to be part of the pro­duc­tion.

“I am ex­cited to be back in the act­ing space. Many peo­ple will see me singing pro­fes­sion­ally for the first time. But I come from a the­atre back­ground,” she said.

“I have been en­joy­ing be­ing a mother but hon­estly there was a point where roles were not com­ing by. I looked up to my daugh­ter to in­spire me.”

Nina Si­mone Four Women is a story of four women and their strug­gles. Writ­ten by Christina Ham, the four women speak about their so­cial and gen­der-based is­sues.

Lu­rayi said that the story of Si­mone was rel­e­vant and ap­pealed to African women. “Nina Si­mone is a great story and I feel hon­oured to tell a uni­ver­sal story.

“It’s packed with lay­ers and is rel­e­vant to what is hap­pen­ing in South Africa. It fur­ther pushes us to have these di­a­logues,” she said.

“I’m so pleased to work with such tal­ented artists who push them­selves. Ler­ato has been hold­ing my hand be­cause I have not done mu­si­cal the­atre in a while.” The story is in­spired by a song writ­ten by Si­mone after the 1963 bomb­ing of the 16th Street Bap­tist Church in Birm­ing­ham, Alabama, in the US.

/SUP­PLIED

‘Nina Si­mone Four Women’, which de­picts the strug­gle of women, stars Ler­ato Mve­lase, Busi Lu­rayi, Mona Monyane Sken­jana and Nox­olo Dlamini.

/DAVID RED­FERN / REDFERNS

Le­gen­dery blues and soul singer Nina Si­mone.

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