It’s a mix of some of Southern Africa’s most celebrated stage performers that sees Zolani Mahola, the lead singer of popular group FreshlyGround, making her musical theatre debut as Lindiwe, one of the three leading women on a journey of self-discovery.
It’s a dream come true for Mahola, who is relishing bringing her two passions of acting and singing together. “I needed a new challenge and this is it. I’m excited at the thought of being part of a brand new African musical production, of being part of an ensemble and many voices. For me, it’s incredible to be on stage acting, a discipline I studied.”
Soprano opera singer Lynelle Kenned plays Grace, a young woman who flees her war-torn homeland to try to survive in a foreign country.
With her is her new friend, Lindiwe, who has fled her home to escape abuse and pain. The duo team up with the deeply troubled Isabella, played by actress, singer and dancer Samantha Peo, to embark on a journey to discover their own personal power.
Staged for the better part during Women’s Month, it is a powerful story of love, hope, courage, longing and compassion that will resonate with people everywhere on the continent and in the world.
The musical is a collaboration between two powerful women in the South African music and theatre industry – author, composer and producer Alice Gillham and director Magdalene Minnaar.
Gillham effortlessly fuses classical music, African hybrid, jazz and traditional folksong to create bewitching and evocative music that brings the story to life.
Minnaar believes the musical will have a profound impact. “The content is extremely current and we have incredibly talented people in Africa,” she says.
Other cast members are Anthony Downing (Rafael), rising star Michael McMeeking (Ben) and Zimbabwean jazz singer Musanete Sakupwanya (Nelson), who will also be making his professional debut in musical theatre.
Calling Me Home will release a selection of the songs to the public throughout the season, including Tomorrow by Kenned and Calling Me Home by Mahola.
Calling Me Home runs until September 3. Performances are on Tuesdays to Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm and on Sundays at 2pm.
Ticket prices range from R180 to R420 per person. Book online at www.joburgtheatre.com, the Box Office on 0861 670 670 or through Webtickets.