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KAROO MOOSE Set to Return to South African Stages at the National Arts Festival and the Baxter Theatre

KAROO MOOSE is back on South
African stages almost a decade after
its world premiere in 2007.

Originally commissioned by ABSA Aardklop Festival and first performed at the ABSA Aardklop Festival in October 2007, KAROO MOOSE will return to South African stages as a part of the 2016 National Arts Festival's showcase of work by its 2016 Featured Artist, Lara Foot. A season at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town follows.

Performed in English with isiXhosa, KAROO MOOSE takes place in a remote and impoverished village in the Karoo, where the inhabitants are struggling to survive. A young girl called Thozama ends up killing a moose. But what is the moose doing there, and how did it get there?

Originally written as a film entitled NO FATHERS, writer-director Foot used the story as a vehicle to tackle the disintegration of the family unit and the violation of innocence endured by so many South African children. The play cleverly and creatively combines African storytelling and magical realism. Foot explains:

The themes of the story for me were bound up in the idea that the children in the village needed some kind of magical event to free them from abuse, neglect and poverty. Something magical was needed to break the cycle of violence.

Returning to the stage with the original cast, KAROO MOOSE is vividly brought to life by Zoleka Helesi, Mdu Kweyama, Bongile Mantsai, Thami Mbongo, Chuma Sopotela and Apollo Ntshoko. The actors each perform a key character and double up to play multiple additional characters adding to the magic of the story. Each of the cast members has earned respect and acclaim in the South African theatre industry in their own respective rights over the years.

KAROO MOOSE features musical direction and lyrics by Bongile Mantsai (with Dizu Plaatjies serving as musical advisor) and choreography by Mdu Kweyama. Set and lighting design by Patrick Curtis, with costumes and props by Koos Marais, assisted by Henning Lüdeke. Lesley Nott Manim serves as vocal coach for the production.

Having gathered 15 top South African awards, this return season of KAROO MOOSE is not to be missed. KAROO MOOSE runs at the National Arts Festival from 30 June - 2 July at Graeme College. Bookings are through the National Arts Festival website.

The Baxter season runs from 31 August - 24 September. Booking is online through Computicket, by phone on 0861 915 8000, or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For corporate, block or school bookings, charities and fundraisers, contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993.

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