The Mysteries: YIIMIMANGALISO Returns To London, Plays The Garrick Theatre 9/11- 10/3
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by BWW News Desk
A new production of The Mysteries - Yiimimangaliso, the musical that has been seen by audiences of over 250,000 worldwide, will return to London for twenty five performances only at the Garrick Theatre from 11 September - 3 October, with press night on 15 September 2009.
Adapted and directed by British Director Mark Dornford-May and performed by the Cape Town based Isango Portobello Theatre Company, The Mysteries - Yiimimangaliso is produced and presented by Eric Abraham. Musical direction is by Mandisi Dyantyis and Pauline Malefane, choreography is by Lungelo Ngamlana, lighting is by Mannie Manim, costumes are by Leigh Bishop and Fagrie Nasiep and puppetry is by Aja Marneweck.
The Mysteries - Yiimimangaliso is an African version of the English medieval Chester Mystery plays. These timeless biblical stories - from the creation to the resurrection - are brought to life through exhilarating songs, dance and intense drama. The Ensemble of 33 performers, playing characters from Adam and Eve to Cain and Abel, is led by South Africa's award-winning performer Pauline Malefane playing God and Jesus. The score comprises vocal traditions found in South Africa and the all black cast perform in English, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Tswana and Zulu.
Pauline Malefane is an opera singer, actor, screenwriter and muscial director. At the start of this year she became the first black African singer to perform in the New Year's Concert in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. Last year she won the Best Film Actress Award for her performance in Son of Man at the South African Film and Television Awards. She translated, co-wrote and starred in the award-winning film U-Carmen eKhayelitsha and was a featured soloist at the BBC proms in 2006. She was last in London in 2007/8 when the Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo played in repertory with A Christmas Carol - Ikrismas Kherol at the Young Vic before transferring to the Duke of York's Theatre.
Mark Dornford-May has worked in South Africa for the last seven years where he created the Lyric Theatre Company Dimpho di Kopane which preceded Isango Portobello. He was responsible for originating and directing all their productions. U-Carmen eKhayelitsha was Dornford-May's first feature film and was awarded the Golden Bear for Best Film at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival, the award for Best Feature at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and a Golden Thumb. His second film, Son of Man, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received the Founder's Prize at the Traverse City Film Festival. He is Director of Isango Portobello in South Africa. Dornford-May's production of The Magic Flute has been seen in London, Dublin, Tokyo, Singapore, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Eric Abraham is a film, television and theatre producer. He produced the Academy Award and Golden Gobe - winning Kolya. His theatre credits include the Olivier award-winning The Magic Flute, Christopher Hampton's Embers starring Jeremy Irons, directed by Michael Blakemore and Hugh Whitemore's adaptation of Pirandello's As You Desire Me, directed by Jonathan Kent starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Bob Hoskins. He co-produced the West End transfer of Polly Stenham's debut play That Face with Lindsay Duncan and Matt Smith. His film and television credits include the BBC primetime detective series Dalziel and Pascoe with Warren Clarke, John le Carré's A Murder of Quality with Denholm Elliott and Glenda Jackson, Roald Dahl's Danny the Champion of the World with Jeremy Irons, Tim Roth's The War Zone with Ray Winstone and Tilda Swinton and with Oscar-winning Czech Kolya Director Jan Sverak - Dark Blue World and Empties.
The Isango Portobello Company was formed by South African-born, British based, Producer Eric Abraham and British born South African based Director Mark Dornford-May. The company, believed to be the largest black theatre company in the world has toured internationally from Dublin to Tokyo.
Last the year the Isango Portobello Company won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival for the their sell-out Young Vic and Duke of York's run of The Magic Flute. Prior to its limited West End season, this new production of the The Mysteries - Yiimimangaliso will debut at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town from 17 June - 5 July and following the run at the Garrick Theatre, the Company will travel to the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris for a two week run of The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo from 8 October.
Performances: Monday -Saturday 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm
Nb there will be no performance on 28 September
Ticket prices: all preview £20 and £25
then £20 - £45 plus concessions
Address: Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0HH
Box Office: 0844 412 4662