Following its current Afghanistan season The Great Game (See News, 20 Feb 2009), the Tricycle Theatre is turning its focus to South Africa with another season of firsts.

Two award-winning plays by South African writers will receive their UK premieres - Lara Foot Newton's Karoo Moose (16 June to 11 July 2009) and David Kramer's Koos SAS: Last Bushman of Montagu (14 July to 1 August 2009).

Produced by Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre Centre, Karoo Moose, which recently won eight Naledi Theatre awards including Best New South African Play, concerns a young girl struggling to survive in an impoverished village in the Karoo. A violent and terrifying incident and a chance encounter with an escaped moose change her life forever in a story of pain, redemption and hope combining traditional African story telling and “magical realism”.

Lara Foot Newton directs a South African cast (reprising their roles) featuring Zoleka Helesi, Mdu Kweyama, Bongile Mantsai, Thami Mbongo, Chuma Sopotela and Mfundo Tshazibane.

Newton is an award-winning South African writer, director and screenwriter who has directed more than 35 productions, 25 of which have been new South African works including a staging of Zakes Mda’s novel Ways of Dying and her own creations Tschepang and Hear and Now.

David Kramer's Koos SAS: Last Bushman of Montagu is a musical love story performed in Afrikaans with English surtitles. It centres on the notorious and infamous Khoisan, Koos Sas, who in 1917 was accused of murdering a shopkeeper in Montagu. Shot as an outlaw, he was the last of what the authorities deemed the 'bushmen robbers' of the previous century.

Writer Kramer, who also directs, has a long association with the Tricycle going back to the 1997 staging of his musical Kat and the Kings, which subsequently transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre and went on to win two Olivier Awards, including Best Musical. Subsequent works staged at the Tricycle were Poison and Ghoema.

Koos SAS: Last Bushman of Montagu, which won the De Kat Herrie award and the Skouerklop Award for best musical contibution in South Africa, has additional text by Jody Abrhams and Gaerin Hauptfleisch, with design by Illka Louw. The South African cast, who reprise their roles, are Loukmaan Adams, Jody Abrahams (both of whom were involved in Kat and the Kings), Natalie Cervati, Nicholas Ellenbogen and Robert Koen.

Currently at the Tricycle, The Great Game, a cycle of 12 new plays by writers including Richard Bean, David Edgar, Abi Morgan, David Greig and Simon Stephens, finishes on 14 June 2009.

- by Theo Bosanquet