Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize Award Winning Play Ruined makes its debut at the Market Theatre

By CityLife Arts Writer

The second superb installation of the Women’s Month Celebration Production is the Pulitzer Prize winning play titled; “Ruinedby Lynn Nottage will make its long awaited South African premier at the iconic Market Theatre from 9 August – 4 September 2022directed by Clive Mathibe.

The phenomenal and award winning ensemble includes film leading ladies and gents, Hlengiwe Lushaba Madlala, Shoki Mmola (2022SAFTA Best Actress in TV Soap Skeem Saam), Fulu Mugovhani, and Samu Maseko, Molefe Monaisa, Edward Nkumishe, Thapelo Sebogodi (Best known as Kabzela in The River), Anele Situlweni and Vaughn Lucas Callaway (Who starred in Legacy). The formidable musical force, Banda Banda, joins the design team as musical director and composer- making his very first debut in theatre!

Lynn Nottage’s Ruined is set in a small mining town in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it follows a life of the tenacious Mama Nadi, a businesswoman who is trying to stay afloat in a world torn apart by civil war. The war has ravaged her country, and especially the young girls who have literally been torn to pieces by soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

Mama Nadi takes “damaged” girls into her brothel/bar and profits from them, but also protects them from the brutality of the world outside her doors. As  such, the women do a fragile dance between hope and disillusionment in an attempt to navigate life on the edge of an unforgiving conflict.

We also meet soldiers and commanders on both sides of the conflict, all frequent customers at Mama’s bar. Ruined was developed during playwright Lynn Nottage’s pilgrimage to Africa, where she interviewed girls and women who themselves were, and continue to be, the battleground upon which war is fought.

Nottage is a multi-award winning American author born in Brooklyn, New York. At age 8, she had already written her first play. Nottage is a graduate of New York’s High School of Music and Art in Harlem. She enrolled at Brown University where she received her B.A degree. She continued her studies and received her M.F.A degree in playwright at Yale School of Drama. Lynn’s plays are being produced worldwide.

Ruined is directed by Clive Mathibe who is a formidable theatre and television writer/director and creative producer. In 2021, Mathibe adapted and directed literary giant, Eskia Mphahlele’s ‘Father Come Home’ at the Market Theatre as part of the centinary celebrations to honor Mphahlele. The production enjoyed rave reviews as well as packed houses re-affirming Mathibe’ s distinctive and necessary creative voice. Mathibe says this about returning to The Market to direct Ruined; “I am thrilled and honored to be telling this story with some notable collaborators in the design team as well as the impeccable cast!”

Ruined offers a graphic portrait of women as lasting victims of war but also shines the light on the self-resilience women of the Congo have after the multiple sufferings inflicted on them. Without minimizing the pain, the production becomes a tribute to women’s endurance.

Ruined is a brilliant play that jolts our consciences about a forgotten conflict. Audiences will emerge both shaken and stirred!

This gut-wrenching productionwas made possible by the generous support from Eyesizwe Mining Development Trust.


Writer:                                                                      Lynn Nottage 

Director:                                                       Clive Mathibe   

Music Director & Sound Designer:                    Banda Banda

Lighting Designer:                                      Hlomohang Mothetho

Set & Props Designer:                               Karabo Legoabe

Costume Designer:                                                Motshidisi Manyaneng

Stage Manager:                                          Lebeisa Molapo

Stage Manager Intern:                             Irvin Taylor


Anele Situlweni

Edward Nkhumishe

Fulu Mugovhani

Hlengiwe Lushaba Madlala

Molefi Monaisa

Sami Maseko

Shoki Mmola

Thapelo Sebogodi

Vaughan Lucas Callaway

Season:                                             Tuesday 9 August – Sunday 4 September 2022

Venue:                                                           The John Kani Theatre   

Performance times:                       Tuesday – Saturday @19h00 and Sunday @15h00

Ticket prices:                                               Tuesday – Thursday R90

Friday – Saturday R150

Sunday – R130

To make block bookings and discounts please contact Anthony Ezeoke 011 832 1641ext 203/ 083 246 4950 or Bandile Luvalo 078 4344 860.

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