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Educational theatre with great music

2015-07-01 09:30

DIM-DEP: Faces of Environmental Success, a new South African musical with a strong environmental and heritage theme, will be staged in the Playhouse Loft Theatre in Durban from Thursday to Sunday.

The title is inspired by the sound that is produced when beating an African drum, especially with the hands. It is also an abbreviation of Drum and Indigenous Music Development Project, which is an ongoing initiative run by Atlas Philani Duma’s Sagiya Productions.

Starring Nonkululeko Mchunu, Cherise Hlengiwe Filen, Ntokozo Ngcobo and Lee Ngamlana, with music by Duma, Smanga DJ Sweet Bhengu and Thonbani Mbatha, this musical is classic “edutainment” — an engaging story with a strong environmental message.

The story, crafted through a blend of dialogue, poetry, music, dramatic prose and monologues, is told over two time periods: contemporary urban and Stone Age. The narrators are two women, Sindy and Mpume, who meet in the rainforest near the Drakensberg mountains. Through flashbacks, they reflect on the life of early men and women living in the mountains. The story talks to responsible and environmentally aware living, reminding audiences of the need to be self-sufficient, to nurture the environment, minimise pollution, limit the use of power, look back to age-old skills, to use animal products responsibly and to ensure environmental sustainability.

“The story is a reminder to us all to take care of the environment,” said Duma.

“We are reminded that we cannot survive on digital devises alone. Other issues that are touched on include awareness in terms of cultural development and our rich heritage.”

Dim-Dep also features a great musical score that includes Afro blues, jazz, bebop, pop, maskandi, Afro jazz and house. Show times are 7 pm on Thursday Friday and Saturday, and 3 pm on Sunday. Tickets are R80 at Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers stores and from the Playhouse.

— Arts Editor

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