A musical adaptation of the South African novel Heart of Redness is soon to be staged at the Fugard Theatre.

The production, directed by Mark Fleishman, features performances by Magnet Theatre and UCT graduates as well as some members of the Cape Town opera.

Based upon the local novel by Zakes Mda, the storyline is set during a turbulent time in South African history.

Camagu is an African man who lived abroad during Apartheid. When he makes his return to a newly democratised South Africa he soon becomes disillusioned by the problems in the political system, and decides to travel to a rural village in the Eastern Cape in search of a woman whose memory still causes him heartache.

There he becomes embroiled in an age-old, bitter feud between two amaXhosa groups in the Qolorha village – the believers and non-believers. The feud dates back to the 19th century where a prophecy results in the slaughtering of cattle and burning of crops by the Xhosa people, and, in return, they are promised the allegiance of their ancestors to rise up and drive the British occupants from their land.


With the prophecy failing, the Xhosa people are split between those whose belief in the prophetesses’ continues despite her inaccurate vision and those who do not. Now, in present day Qolora, the possibility of having a casino built in the village causes further controversy. The non-believers wish to modernise the area while the believers want to stick to their simple, traditional way of life.

The crux of the story borders on the title ‘Heart of Redness’ and refers to the the traditional amaXhosa people who wore red clothes dyed from ochre. Considered ‘backward’ by westernised culture, the amaXhosa resisted a conversion to modernisation. Today, similar situations reverberate in South Africa between adopting a Westernised lifestyle and not abandoning one’s own culture, roots and way of life.

Photography Courtesy

Where The Fugard Theatre, Cnr Caledon and Lower Buitenkant Street, CBD
When Wednesday 19 August – Saturday 22 August 2015 7 : 30 pm
Cost R100 – R190 from Computicket 

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