It’s never happened before, that The Royal Opera has co-produced a South African opera as they have with A Man of Good Hope , the true story of one refugee’s epic quest across Africa to Cape Town.
The story is brought to life with vibrant marimba and drum music, phenomenal dancing and roof-lifting singing from the world-renowned Isango Ensemble from Cape Town.
With its corrugated iron background and boisterous movement and sound, this is one of the cleverest and most touching operas created and unlike any I’ve seen before. Last time the Isango Ensemble was in London was with their version of The Magic Flute and they won the prestigious Olivier Award.
A Man of Good Hope is even more unique and absorbing. A fine version of “rough theatre”, it tells a story that hasn’t been told like this before – life for a refugee in a foreign country.
Based on the book by the award-winning South African author Jonny Steinberg, it is the tale of Asad Abdullahi, a young Somali refugee with a painful past, good luck and a brilliant head for business. After years in a refugee camp and then learning to hustle in the streets of Ethiopia, he sets off for the promised land of South Africa. But when he arrives, he discovers the violent reality of life in the townships – and his adventures really begin.
Directed by Mark Dornford-May (who brought us films uCarmen eKhayelitsha and Son of Man) and with music composed by his wife, the actress and singer Pauline Malefane, and Mandisi Dyantyis who also conducts, A Man of Good Hope is on now until 12 November in the Main House, Young Vic Theatre, 66 The Cut, London SE1 8LZ.
This story was sourced from TheSouthAfrican