Umoja Cancels Extensions & Announces ClosureDate: 26 November 2002
Umoja - which announced two booking extensions at the West End's New London Theatre earlier this month - has now cancelled both and posted closing notices instead. The South African song and dance extravaganza had been taking bookings up to 20 December 2003 but will now close on 8 February. Producers plan to take the show on a world tour in the new year before, hopefully, returning to the West End at some point in the future.
The imported musical had a shaky start in London last year. It first opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in November 2001 but was forced to close prematurely this past February, following noise complaints and the intervention of Camden Council.
Umoja was resurrected in June 2002 at the Queen's Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, where it finished its limited season on 31 August, then transferred from 6 September to the New London, formerly home to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, which closed on 11 May 2002, its 21st birthday in the West End.
Created by Todd Twala and Thembi Nyandeni, Umoja incorporates the rhythms of tribal music, gumboot dancing, jazz, gospel and the contemporary sounds of Kwaito and Pantsula. South Africa's musical heritage is represented throughout the show by a company of versatile young singers, dancers, drummers and marimba players, many of whom come from severely disadvantaged township backgrounds.
- by Terri Paddock