Zondag 03 Mei 2020
SA premiere - The Head & The Load
Supported by RMB and FNB, William Kentridge’s The Head & the Load is coming to South Africa, with music composed and conceived by Philip Miller. In partnership with the City of Johannesburg, Kentridge’s large-scale theatre work will be seen for the first time in Africa at Joburg Theatre from 1 – 9 May for ten performances. After a resounding opening at the Tate Modern in London in 2018 followed by sold-out shows in New York, Amsterdam and Germany, this internationally acclaimed exploration of Africa’s role in the First World War illuminates the untold story of the millions of black African porters who served — and in many cases died for — British, French and German battlefield forces. This exceptionally ambitious production runs across a purpose-built stage stretching 50 metres along the back of the Nelson Mandela Theatre with an intimate seating configuration for just under 500 audience members. Featuring 38 performers, including actors Hamilton Dlamini, Nhlanhla Mahlangu, Mncedisi Shabangu, and Luc De Wit with vocalists Ann Masina and Joanna Dudley, The Head & the Load vividly brings history to life through a combination of music, text, dance, film projections, mechanized sculptures and shadow play. The Head & the Load sees Kentridge reunited with long-time collaborator Philip Miller, one of South Africa’s leading composers, together with co-composer and music director Thuthuka Sibisi, and choreographer and principal dancer Gregory Maqoma from Vuyani Dance Company, to create what the artist describes as “an interrupted musical procession”. This rich and multi-layered performance features an international cast of singers, dancers and performers, with a majority from South Africa.