Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Feature: BAXTER BACK ON STAGE An Inspiring Series of World Firsts

Article Pixel

Gregory Maqoma and Zolani Mahola lead the way for The Baxter's reopening after months of lockdown

BWW Feature: BAXTER BACK ON STAGE An Inspiring Series of World Firsts

This past week The Baxter Theatre Centre held an official reopening with two of South Africa's top artists appearing and collaborating onstage together for the first time. Gregory Maqoma and Zolani Mahola gave world premiere performances of original works that kicked off The Baxter's limited benefit season in a memorable way.

An auspicious evening invited guests and donors to a COVID protocol-friendly gala performance hosted by UCT Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng. Master of ceremonies (and now board member) Marc Lottering was a perfect choice BWW Feature: BAXTER BACK ON STAGE An Inspiring Series of World Firstsfor the evening's events as he is no stranger to the Baxter stage, and short speeches from the likes of artist Bongile Mantsai and Baxter CEO and artistic director Lara Foot brought home the significance the theatre centre holds for so many.

Described by Baxter's marketing manager Fahiem Stellenboom as pieces with a "subliminal, deeper meaning", performances from Gregory Maqoma and Zolani Mahola at BAXTER BACK ON STAGE were a breath of fresh air after a long season away from theatre. Maqoma's dance work No Humor used visual and auditory elements in a riveting way. Accompanied by the immensely talented Xolisile Bongwana, the duo presented a piece that was not only a beauty to watch but was also unexpectedly moving at the same time as it seemed to reflect a myriad of emotions felt over the past months in just a half hour piece. It was truly a privilege to witness this world premiere.

BWW Feature: BAXTER BACK ON STAGE An Inspiring Series of World Firsts

Former lead singer of Freshlyground Zolani Mahola embarked on a solo career last year and is currently emerging under the artist name The One Who Sings. Creating a metaphorical "circle" that extended from the stage into the audience in a performance entitled You Need To Say It, Mahola's voice is like no other. She effortlessly delivered a captivating performance at BAXTER BACK ON STAGE which included original solo pieces that explored the importance of childhood sanctity, nature, and storytelling. The vulnerability in her lyrics was echoed in her vulnerability as a performer. While The Baxter main theatre was already at 50% capacity, the care and intimacy of Mahola's performance made you feel like you were watching a private performance.

BWW Feature: BAXTER BACK ON STAGE An Inspiring Series of World Firsts

Overall BAXTER BACK ON STAGE was a significant night. It also served as the perfect initiative to promote #BaxterCoffeeAngels - a R30 month donation from Baxter supporters to keep one of South Africa's most beloved theatres alive. An unprecedented time for all of us, The Baxter has embarked on making a return no one will soon forget, and making sure the importance of the arts radiates across Cape Town.

Photo credit: Supplied



Related Articles View More South Africa Stories   Shows

From This Author Lindsay Kruger