This was a very interesting production on several aspects! It was particularly topical for me as I have only just returned from a holiday in South Africa ( where I was able to see Umoja at the Victory Theatre in Joberg ).
The warning that the play contains strong "adult" themes and loud noises and smoking on stage does neeed to be taken on board as I am sure there are some theatre goers who might be somewhat shocked.
Entry to the show is delayed until the start time. This is because the stage is already a street scene with two prostitutes and their pimps. The two girls are chatting/shouting to each other ( and to some of the audience too ).
This first chat on stage was in Setswana rather than widely spoken Zulu although later dialogue was in Zulu when not in English !
I dont know why, as Setswana is only spoken by 8% of the SA population whereas the most widely spoken is Zulu spoken by 25% and understood as a second language by perhaps 60% !
There is quite a bit of music during the play, mostly western music whereas the setting would have been more appropriate with african music.
So whilst I feel I could have improved on the understanding and the music, even so it was still a very enjoyable play for anyone not easily shocked.
- Tony Glazier
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