Young Vic's African Magic Flute Moves into West EndDate: 19 December 2007
The Young Vic’s acclaimed South African version of The Magic Flute (Impempe Yomlingo) will transfer to the West End in the new year following its sell-out Christmas engagement at the Young Vic, where - running in repertory with a South African Christmas Carol (Ikrismas Kherol), performed by the same company - it has been nominated for a Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Off-West End Production (click here to vote!).
The Magic Flute (Impempe Yomlingo) opens for eight weeks only at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 11 February 2008, after finishing at the Young Vic on 19 January.
The Magic Flute tells the fairy tale story of Prince Tamino’s quest to rescue Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night, from the Priest of the Sun. While remaining faithful to the original story and the music of Mozart’s opera, the new South African version has been relocated to a township setting, encompassing the various languages of the nation including English, and has been musically re-imagined with marimbas, drums and township percussion replacing traditional orchestral accompaniment.
The piece is adapted and directed by Mark Dornford-May (whose previous credits include a South African version of The Mysteries, that transferred to the West End and Broadway) and performed by a company of 35 South African performers from the Khayelitsha township in Cape Town, including Pauline Malefane (pictured), recently seen in the award-winning film U-Carmen eKhayelitsha and at the Young Vic in Debbie Tucker Green’s generations.
A co-production between the Young Vic and Isango/Portebello, The Magic Flute (Impempe Yomlingo) is presented in the West End by Eric Abraham. Isango/Portobello was formed by South African-born, British-based producer Abraham and British-born, South African-based director Dornford May. Together they producer theatre and film projects for an international audience, with a focus on South African performers.
At the Young Vic, The Magic Flute (Impempe Yomlingo) and A Christmas Carol (Ikrismas Kherol) have sold faster than any other Christmas season in the theatre’s 36-year history. Currently at the Duke of York’s, William Baker’s “remixed” version of Jonathan Larson’s Broadway musical Rent will now finish on 2 February 2008 (See Also Today’s Other News).
- by Terri Paddock