What You Need To Know About Tsotsi, the Musical

  • Post author:

Poverty.  Love.  Violence.  Redemption.

Tsotsi, the Musical  tackles social issues that are as relevant today as they were in 1980 when Athol Fugard’s novel Tsotsi was published.

It has been thirteen years since director Gavin Hood was awarded the coveted Academy Award®. for the outstanding film adaptation. Now Cape Town Opera revives the raw, yet moving story of David, a violent, nihilistic gangster whose life changes after he accidentally steals a baby.

But what makes this story different from the cinematic version that we already know?  “There is the misconception that our musical might be a recreation of the film onstage, with song and dance routines added in, as is sometimes the case with film-to-musical stage adaptions. This is not true of our production”, says NEIL COPPEN, co-director.

While the narrative will be familiar to audiences, there are significant new characters, plot changes and exciting new storylines that will allow audiences to feel that they are journeying with this story for the first time or at least rediscovering it in a completely fresh way. I think audiences will find it to be a very original and surprising take, one that will excite fans of the film and novel and also theatre-goers across cultures and generations.

L to R:  Simphiwe Mayeki & Bianca Le Grange.  Thembalethu Zwele & Katlego Letsholoyana.
Zwai Bala & Mxolisi ‘Zuluboy’ Majozi.  PHOTOGRAPHS BY JESSE KRAMER

This brand new, highly anticipated, stage production of Tsotsi, the Musical is transferred to the stage by award-winning directors NEIL COPPEN and KHAYELIHLE DOMINIQUE GUMEDE, and features a stellar cast. Hip-hop artist Mxolisi “Zuluboy” Majozi stars as the musical’s title character, with a supporting cast that includes Bianca Le Grange, Msizi Njapha, Busisiwe Ngejane, Katlego Letsholonyana, Thembisile Ntaka, Thembalethu Zwele, Kgomotso Matsunyane, Royston Stoffels, Lindani Nkosi, Ayanda Nhlangothi and Nhlanhla Mahlangu.

Choreographer and Standard Bank Young Artist THANDAZILE “SONIA” RADEBE describes the musical’s dance style as “a blend of contemporary afro-fusion”, with a twist of street dance as well as traditional dance.

So what impact does the music have on the stage adaptation of the novel? The production’s lyricist MKHULULI MABIJA (librettist of Cape Town Opera’s “Bessie: The Blue-Eyed Xhosa”) believes that the addition of music opens up a whole new sphere, which makes us experience the story differently. “The beauty of the musical is that, moments that were just a sentence in the book, become songs or a musical sequence; a moment that exists on the page, we can hear it.”

The music is befittingly composed and directed by award-winning kwaito maestro ZWAI BALA, who catapulted to super-stardom in 1997 with the iconic Kwaito group, TKZee. The former Drakensberg Boys Choir member is inspired by a wide-range of musical genres – from classical to traditional music, gospel hymns to struggle songs – so audiences can expect a production that eschews tradition, and look forward to a rich, emotive, and original musical experience.

It is a story of empathy, love, forgiveness, and redemption,” says COPPEN. “It’s a message that at this point in time, humanity needs to be reminded of more than ever.

Expect drama, suspense, and introspection from the gritty, contemporary musical!

Tsotsi, the Musical is funded by the National Lotteries Commission and is supported by the Western Cape Government Cultural Affairs and Sports Department. You can take measures such as using disinfectants to protect against contagious diseases at events such as concerts and theaters by checking out Game Specials and Checkers Specials.

Tue – Fri @ 7.30pm | Sat 10 Feb @ 7.30pm only | Sat 17 Feb @ 2pm & 7.30pm
Wed 14 Feb @ 11am | 2 hours 45 min, inclusive of a 20 min interval


Thursday 08 and Friday 09 February @ 7.30pm                                     All tickets: R150

Wednesday 14 February @ 11am                                                               All tickets: R125

All Other Performances
Rows C and R                                                                                                     R130
Rows D and P                                                                                                     R200
Rows E to O                                                                                                        R280
(No rows A and B)

Group booking reductions for ten or more people:
Pay just R104 for R130 tickets
Pay just R160 for R200 tickets
Pay just R224 for R280 tickets

Booking is through all Computicket outlets, including Shoprite Checkers; their Call Centre on 0861 915 8000; ONLINE HERE  or call Artscape Dial-A-Seat on 021 421 7695 and 021 410 9838. Contact Tracy Cahill on 021 448 9081 | tcahill@webafrica.org.za to make group bookings of 20+ people.