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ITYALA LA MAWELE to Return to Artscape Theatre This October

A production still from

Artscape is set to present the much-awaited return of ITYALA LA MAWELE at the Artscape Theatre this October. Having recently been presented at the National Arts Festival, the production was presented with a Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award and was one of the bestselling shows at the Festival.

ITYALA LA MAWELE is an acclaimed isi-Xhosa novel by Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi, adapted by Thando Doni, who co-directs the play with Mandla Mbothwe. Performed in isiXhosa, the story is set in the time of the historical King Hintsa kaKhawuta and concerns a dispute between the fictional twins Wele and Babini over their deceased father's estate. As they are born on the same day, there is a dispute as to who should take their father's place. This is resolved via a traditional Xhosa legal trial, held at the court of King Hintsa, who presides over the trial. Various people give testimony, among them Khulile, an inyange or wise, old sage and thus a vital source of oral tradition, and the midwives who helped at the twins' birth.

Told through music and dance as well as storytelling, ITYALA LA MAWELE aims to offer modes of communication that go beyond the spoken language so as to cater for audiences who are unfamiliar with isiXhosa.

The production features an all-star South African cast including Faniswa Yisa (OTHELLO, SLOWLY, VOICES MADE NIGHT), Bongi Mantsai (AMAZA, LOVE AFFAIR, KAROO MOOSE), Chuma Sopotela (KAROO MOOSE, INTERROGATION ROOM, ZULU), Thembani Luzipho (SHOOTING STAR, STOKVEL, BACKSTAGE), Babalwa Makwetu (THE PLAYROOM, MARI AND KANA and many more.

ITYALA LA MAWELE runs at the Artscape Thetre form 11 - 22 October at 19:30 nightly, except on Sundays (when there will be a matinee at 15:00) and Mondays. Tickets, costing R50 - R80, are available at the Artscape Box Office, Artscape Dial-a-Seat (021 421 7839) and Computicket outlets.

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