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24 Oct, 2014


Tickets :

Mamela (meaning 'to Listen') follows a group of remarkable young women from the Eastern Cape of South Africa, capturing the opinions, experiences and aspirations of those born towards the end of the Apartheid era, the "born-free" generation. A fusion of European and African theatre, this cutting edge piece is moving personal testimony and storytelling, fused with traditional African song and dance to create a compelling narrative for the 21st century. This unique show premiered at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown in July 2013, receiving a Standard Bank Ovation Award for Innovation and Artistic Excellence.

Edited by Gez Casey and Ziphozake Hlobo
Directed by Amy Golding

Afrovibes 2014 - 20 Years of Freedom

The Drum, mac Birmingham and Birmingham REP are thrilled to welcome Afrovibes to Birmingham - a biennial festival that celebrates the finest South African contemporary theatre, music and visual arts. Marking the 20th anniversary of the first democratic election in South Africa, the season promises to illustrate the many voices and experiences of the country, while offering UK audiences and artists the opportunity to engage with visiting performers.

Take any ticket stub from The Drum Afrovibes shows to mac or Birmingham Rep and you will get £1 off any of their Afrovibes shows - and vice versa! Also these tickets will enable you to get free admission to the Closing Party at The Drum on Sat 25 Oct following Rhetorical.

Biko's Quest
Thu 23 Oct, 7:30pm
Tickets: £10.50 (£8.50)

Inspired by the Steve Biko Foundation's photographic exhibition, The Quest for a True Humanity, Biko's Quest is an energetic large-cast dance piece about the world famous anti-apartheid activist and Black Consciousness Movement founder's life and sudden death in 1977 (aged 29) while he was in police detention.

"It is better to die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea that will die" - Steve Biko

Directed by Mandla Mbothwe
Choreography by Jackie Manyaapelo, Ina Wichterich-Mogane and Mzo Gasa

Township Comets
Fri 24 Oct, 9pm
Tickets: £6.50 (£4.50)*

The Township Comets play a joyful mix of South African Township Jazz which is inspired by South African saxophonist Dudu Pukwana, who in exile brought a pioneering mix of Township Jazz and improvisation to the UK and European scenes in the late 1960s. Their music is great fun, a lively, rhythmic, slightly anarchic, dance-based jazz that makes it is hard to sit still!

The band features many of the former members of Dudu Pukwana's group Zila, including the fantastic vocalist Pinise Saul. Singing in both Xhosa and English, Saul specialises in harmonising his vocals along with the band's horn front-line, for a unique and powerful sound. So if you're a fan of their music, South African jazz greats like Chris McGregor, or just jazz in general, don't miss this!

Township Comets are; Chris Batchelor, trumpet; Pinise Saul, vocals; Jason Yarde, alto; Harry Brown, trombone; Adam Glasser, piano; Dudley Phillips, bass; Frank Tontoh, drums.

* Concession prices apply for anyone who has been to see Mamela

Sat 25 Oct
Tickets: £12.50 (£10.50)

Presley Chweneyagae, star of the 2006 Oscar-winning film Tsotsi, leads a company of five actors in this play by Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom, a wickedly insightful exploration of the art of persuasion using some of the most famous speeches of Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa in 1999.

Freedom or Death: Photographic Exhibition - Vanley Burke
Launch: Fri 26 Sep, 6pm
Until Fri 7 Nov
Tickets: Free Admission

The Drum is pleased to host an exhibition charting the final days of the apartheid era in South Africa through the lens of preeminent documentary photographer Dr Vanley Burke.

Burke travelled extensively throughout South Africa to Soweto, Sharpeville, Bophuthatswana, Cape Town and Durban, talking to people, attending rallies, funerals and demonstrations. This selection of photographs from the Library of Birmingham archives provides a unique insight of a nation undergoing immense change towards eventual democracy.

Mandela 27
Mon 13 - Sat 25 Oct
The Drum Café
Tickets: Free Admission

To coincide with Afrovibes South African Festival, The Drum will host Mandela 27, a cultural collaboration between the European Union and South Africa inspired by the iconic story of Nelson Mandela and the globally recognized Robben Island Museum.

The project involves a physical display based upon the dimensions of Nelson Mandela's cell, housing cultural stories and works. To date the DIY Exhibition has already been requested by BELvue Museum in Brussels, Belgium, The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry, as well as the Great Britain and Robben Island Museum in Cape Town, South-Africa.

Afrovibes Closing Party
Sat 25 Oct, 10pm
The Drum, Frontiers Café Bar
£3 OTD - Free admission with ticket stubs from any Afrovibes events

Join us at the Afrovibes Closing Party as we bid farewell to our South African guests and celebrate the end of the Festival. The Drum's Frontiers Township Café will become the ultimate African music hot spot as DJ Fenta Zulu and MC Appollon from the legendary Club Afrique are joined by Newstyle Radio's DJ Wali and DJ Fresh. Expect an amazing night of dance and music as we rock the Township Café with great classics and the latest hits from Soukous, Makosa, Afrobeat, Reggae, Hip-Hop and many more.

Also taking the stage for live performances will be a cappella trio The Soil presenting their stunning mix of township Jazz, Hip-Hop, Afro-Pop and Afro-Soul plus special musical vibes from the cast of Mamela, all hosted by Lit Fuse poets Amerah Saleh, Sipho Eric Dube and Nafeesa Hamid. Tickets for the Closing Party are £3, but take any ticket stub from The Drum's Afrovibes shows, or any show at mac or Birmingham REP, and you'll to get free admission! Even better, the same ticket will also get you £1 off any Afrovibes shows at mac or Birmingham REP - and vice versa!

Afrovibes at mac birmingham

The Soil
Mon 20 Oct, 8pm
Tickets: £12 (£10)

Soweto's award-winning, platinum-selling beatbox a cappella group combine an eclectic mix of township jazz, hip hop and Afro-pop. The trio - Buhle (Soil Sister), Ntsika (Fana-tastic) and Phindo (Master P) - met at school in 2003, and their infectious music has taken them all over the world since. The Sid Peacock Youth Ensemble (mac Associate Artist funded by Arts Council England) will also perform as part of the opening night event.

Tue 21 Oct, 8pm
Tickets: £12 (£10)

In January 2008, in Skierlik, west of Pretoria, 17 year-old Johan Nel went on a racially motivated shooting spree killing four people and wounding eight. The massacre had tragic effects on those left behind. Skierlik, a solo show written and performed by award-winning playwright Phillip M Dikotla, is the story of one man returning to the scene of the carnage.

Rainbow Scars
Wed 22 - Thu 23 Oct, 8pm
Tickets: £12 (£10)

Written by Mike Van Graan, one of South Africa's most incisive playwrights, Rainbow Scars starts in 1994 in the new Rainbow Nation, the term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to describe post-apartheid South Africa. Lindiwe is a black teenager adopted by white parents and forced to confront her racial identity when contacted by a long lost cousin.

Double Bill: Mana and Dark Cell
Fri 24 Oct, 8pm
Tickets £12 (£10)

Double Bill: Uncles & Angels and Dark Cell
Sat 25 Oct, 8pm
Tickets £12 (£10)

In Mana, South African choreographer Vincent Mantsoe will take you back to ancient times, evoking the spirit and earthy ambience of African dance and Shaman traditions. Dark Cell is an award-winning piece, which draws inspiration from former political prisoners of Robben Island, using the concept of a prison cell as a metaphor for mental imprisonment. Uncles & Angels uses breath taking interactive dance and video to explore South Africa's Reed Dance, a colourful, celebratory tradition.

Afrovibes at Birmingham REP
Fri 24 Oct, 7pm
Tickets: £5 (£3)

This new short film, making its UK premiere, is a compelling retake on Noyes(TM) Fludde by Benjamin Britten. Relocating the story of Noah(TM)s Ark to present-day South Africa, and re-imagining Noah as a woman who must hold her family together, Unogumbe is beautifully sung in Xhosa and performed with traditional African instruments. With its irresistible score and a vibrant celebration of life, Unogumbe will have you dancing along.

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