An original musical premieres in Johannesburg and Cape Town
South Africans can look forward to the world premiere of the new and original musical, Calling Me Home. It will have a three week run on the Mandela stage at the Joburg Theatre from 17 August 2017 until 3 September 2017. From here, it will tour internationally and open at Artscape Theatre in Cape Town in October 2018.
Calling me Home is a powerful love story of hope, courage, longing and compassion that will resonate with people everywhere. The story itself depicts the journeys of three women who each find their own personal power. Grace (Lynelle Kenned) a young African woman flees her war-torn homeland to try to survive in a country of concrete cityscapes, crime and danger. With her is her friend Lindiwe (Zolani Mahola), who too has fled her home, but in Lindiwe’s case it is a flight from abuse and pain. Finally, there is the beautiful but deeply troubled Isabella (Samantha Peo), who finds the strength and courage to conquer almost insurmountable challenges when she overcomes addiction, both chemical and emotional, to take the moral lead in her community.
In this new, hugely diverse and colourful community, Grace experiences both joy and great danger. She also falls deeply in love and most importantly, learns the true meaning of ‘home’. The work is a global story with far-reaching relevance and it has been described as “epic, sophisticated, heartfelt and sincere.”
The book, score and libretto were written by composer and producer Alice Gillham, who is signed with EMI Music Publishing / Sony/ATV and who lives and works in South Africa. Joining Gillham in bringing this musical to the stage, is director Magdalene Minnaar. According to Minnaar this production has the potential to have a profound impact on the world.
The story of Calling Me Home is character driven and the large cast will each play an important part in the story.
According to Minnaar choosing the right artists was critical as they will have the 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.”
The complete Southern African cast consists of some of the country’s most celebrated stage performers, well-known personalities and some up-and-coming young stars. It includes, amongst others, Lynelle Kenned (West Side Story), Samantha Peo (Cabaret), Anthony Downing (Phantom of the Opera), Michael McMeeking (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) as well as Carly Graeme, Pierre van Heerden, Clint Lesch and Christiaan Snyman. Zolani Mahola will be making her professional debut in Calling me Home.
To stage a musical of this size, some of South Africa’s top production designers have been approached to transport the audience from the vast landscapes of Africa to the buildings and streets of a large metropolis. It will be a theatre experience like few others, blurring the lines somewhat between cinema and musical theatre.
Nadine and Louis Minnaar, Werner Burger and Joshua Cutts are responsible for creating the dynamic, light-based set that utilises 3D projection mapping, animation and lighting effects to create a highly impactful audience experience that seamlessly transitions between scenes. The set has been specifically designed to be transported effortlessly as the production tours to different countries.
One of the big challenges for a musical of this scale, is to develop an authentic original wardrobe for the cast. Taking on this essential task, is top stylist, Juanita Køtzé from The Rare Librarian. Køtzé will bring together a group of talented young designers, who, together with established fashion icons, will create a unique wardrobe for each individual character; one that supports their development and performance.
Calling me Home
The Mandela at the Joburg Theatre
17 August 2017 until 3 September 2017
Tuesdays to Fridays at 20:00
Saturdays at 15:00 and 20:00
Sundays at 14:00 and 18:00
Tickets sell from R180 to R420
For tickets call 0861 670 670 or book online at www.joburgtheatre.com
For group bookings of 10 or more tickets, contact the Theatre’s ticketing office on (011) 877 6853/4
Cape Town information to follow….
A selection of songs, recorded by the original cast, are gradually being introduced to the public. The song ‘Tomorrow’ sung by Lynelle Kenned, was released on social media platforms, as well as to radio stations such as Classic FM, Fine Music Radio and RSG. The response to the music has been overwhelming and other songs will be released in the near future. Listen to the song Tomorrow from Act 1, Scene 1, as performed by Lynelle Kenned, to hear what is to come.