Theatrical thriller Shaka Zulu’s season extended at State Theatre

By CityLIfe Arts Writer

Shaka Zulu:The Gaping Wound, has had its season extended by three weeks due to reportedly massive response the production enjoyed during its performance there.

“The South African State Theatre (SAST) is excited to announce a season extension of the currently showing Shaka Zulu: The Gaping Wound, from the due date of 14 November to 04 December 2021. The three-weeks extension follows the show’s humbling reception which is characterised by rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, as well as packed houses creating an insatiable public demand for this musical dance spectacle directed by Meshack Mavuso-Magabane, starring Thembinkosi Chagwe (as Shaka Zulu), Nkanyiso Bhengu (Dingane), and Mduduzi Mabaso (Mshongwen),” the State Theatre said in a statement.

Mduduzi Mabaso plays Mshongweni in Shaka Zulu. @Mpilo Zondi

“In the last seven years we agreed with the CEO Dr. Sibongiseni Mkhize that we will develop a new cadre of artist and develop South African musicals. Importantly we agreed to give the musicals enough time to grow and develop thereby providing longer seasons especially if the audiences have an appetite for that work. Shaka Zulu is one such work. The overwhelming support from our audiences and its ability to draw family audiences has informed our decision to extend the show,” says the SAST’s Artistic Director Mr. Aubrey Sekhabi.

Photo Credit @Mpilo Zondi

Shaka Zulu: The Gaping Wound will show from Wednesdays to Sundays, with matinees being introduced on Saturdays. Tickets are R130 at Webtickets, available online, Pick n Pay stores nationwide, or at the State Theatre’s Box Office.

Since Shaka Zulu’s opening week on 19 October, theatre lovers have flocked in numbers to the SAST’s 640 seating Drama Theatre – adjusted to 400 under Covid-19 Level- to witness the story of the world-renowned warrior king, uShaka ka Senzangakhona who was a visionary, a diplomat, a military strategist, and a nation-builder who wanted to establish one strong and inclusive nation in Southern Africa. His story is being told through the eyes of a praise singer, taking audiences on a journey of historical imagination to the glorious past and leading them back through exhilarating song, praise poetry and energetic Zulu dancing to a proudly and unapologetically Pan-African future.

King Shaka Zulu is considered to have been an eminent shepherd of unity who was determined to establish one mighty African Nation. Before he could realize his vision, he was assassinated in a regicide spearheaded by his brothers Dingane and Mhlangana, assisted by the warrior king’s trusted servant Mbopha ka Sithayi. Upon his death in September 1828, he is believed to have cursed his assassins by warning them that their rule shall be of bloodshed and mayhem. It is believed that his curse in the face of betrayal by those he trusted most continues to haunt the country until this day.

“Shaka Zulu is an emotional plea by present generations to the spirit of Shaka to forgive us and bring an end to bloodshed that has engulfed our daily lives despite the attainment of political emancipation. It is clear then that as a nation we need to seriously deliberate about the painful reality of our complicated past before we could confidently map the way forward into a brighter, peaceful and prosperous future,” says Director Meshack Mavuso-Magabane.

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