BWW Review: EGOLI THE MUSICAL is full of heart at Masque Theatre
There's nothing quite like the sound of voices harmonising perfectly through both joy and sadness. EGOLI THE MUSICAL promised a story "filled with fully harmonic singing that is cultural, rhythmic, African, and heart-rending" and they delivered on many fronts. The young cast was passionate and in fine, full voice despite the small audience that gathered at the Masque Theatre on opening night.
I'll admit to being slightly apprehensive about going to watch a show that is almost entirely in a language I don't speak. This production is performed in isiXhosa with a few pieces of narration done in English, just to help the likes of me along the way. While I found it a little difficult to get into things at the beginning, and will admit to getting lost in terms of the story line some where in the second half, I was actually thoroughly moved by this piece. With just a little bit more narration to help those of us who are challenged in the language learning department (much to the despair of my isiXhosa and Afrikaans teachers back at school), I think this piece could be absolutely top notch.
The two leads, Zikhona Jacobs and Ayanda Dakuse, were fantastic and their interactions as a couple at the beginning were hilarious. I do wish I'd understood the nuances from the dialogue, which was all in isiXhosa, but I definitely got their meaning. Their physicality and the way they delivered the words was more than enough to understand what was being said. And the singing! The entire cast complemented each other beautifully with some exceptional voices. But I have to single out Jacobs. She has an extraordinary voice on her and the brilliant ability to portray emotion through the songs. I had chills.
Hats off to director and writer, Bongani Titana, for bringing this rich theatre piece to life. Through the use of voice, physicality, strong lighting design and limited props, Titana created a world that was completely believable. As the performers moved from scene to scene, in various locations, the audience was drawn along through the story. It was so cleverly done.
EGOLI THE MUSICAL is a really strong piece of ensemble theatre that deserves full houses! Don't be put off if you don't speak the language because we all speak the language of emotion through song.
Photo credit: supplied
EGOLI THE MUSICAL is on at the Masque Theatre until Saturday 15 February - Wed-Fri performances are at 8pm and Saturday performances are at 2:30pm and 6:30pm. Tickets are R80 can be booked via Computicket.