Animal Farm #MustFall on stage

Napoleon is back to show how #AbsolutePower corrupts absolutely

With the nationwide #MustFall movements sparking debate around the nature of power and its abuses, there is arguably no better time to revisit George Orwell’s Animal Farm, which will be touring Gauteng as a stage production from March.

Says Lali Dangazele of ShakeXperience: “With a recent increase in the number of campaigns with #MustFall as the suffix, there is a clear indication that Animal Farm is not only relevant to young people as a prescribed setwork, but is a necessary starting point in the development and nurturing of much-needed dialogue relating to themes such as leadership, democracy, diversity and power, ultimately #MustRise movements”

Animal Farm is adapted, directed and designed by Neil Coppen, with choreography by Daniel Buckland. It features Mpume Mthombeni, Tshego Khutsoane, MoMo Matsunyane, Mandisa Nduana, Khutjo Bakunzi-Green and Zesuliwe Hadebe.

Standard Bank Young Artist Coppen has skillfully woven the text from the classic novella into a hard-hitting play that resonates strongly with the South African socio-political situation. It is produced by ShakeXperience, a theatre company specialising in arts education.

Although Animal Farm was written seven decades ago as an ironic commentary on Stalinism and post-revolutionary dictatorships, Animal Farm’s central theme – how power can corrupt, and how the formerly oppressed can become the oppressors – remains extremely topical on a local, regional and global scale.

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Animal Farm is a national school setwork and more than 15 000 learners in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have already seen this play, with its gifted all-female cast. It has picked up two Naledi Theatre Awards along the way, for best production for young audiences and best ensemble.

Now, Napoleon, Snowball, Squealer and company are back to bring another round of disturbing political satire to our stages – a must-see modern parable for school-goers, enhanced by humour, movement, music and visuals.

There will be 9am and 12noon weekday performances on the following dates:

until 18 March 2016 at the Soweto Theatre
11 to 15 April at the Joburg Theatre
18 to 22 April at the State Theatre, Pretoria
19 September to 2 October at the Market Theatre

Tickets cost R70. For school block bookings or more information, contact Lalu Mokuku or Tiffani Cornwall at lalu@shakexperience.com/tiffani@shakexperience.com or at 011 057 5088/9 or 074 996 7387.

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