Ladysmith Black Mambazo musical postponed to next year

The world-famous Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
The world-famous Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Image: Supplied

The long-awaited premiere of the theatre show about SA's Grammy award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo and its founder, Joseph Shabalala, has been postponed due to production delays.

Mshengu - The Musical was scheduled to open on September 13 at Soweto Theatre in Jabulani.

The show has been postponed to August 2020, where it will now be staged as part of Ladysmith Black Mambazo 60 years celebrations.

The musical is written by award-winning journalist and author Sandile Ngidi and is directed by seasoned stage and TV actor Desmond Dube.

According to chief operating officer for Joburg City Theatres, Bridget Mashika, the research and putting together of the script took longer than expected, therefore delaying other parts of production.

"We realised three weeks ago that the show will not be ready for a premiere, that is why we took a decision to postpone the premiere. We did not want to present a half-baked production. I guess time was not our side," she said.

Mashika said as much as the premiere has been postponed, the cast will continue rehearsing because the show will open at Playhouse Theatre before opening in Johannesburg.

She further said that this week, the cast will focus on live sessions on stage at the Soweto Theatre that will be watched by industry critics.

"The communicated dates for the production are being utilised as an opportunity to allow for industry professionals to come and view the product and make their input. Selected industry professionals will be part of these working sessions that will assist in ensuring that we deliver a product that we will all be proud of."

Mashika said it was important that the story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Shabalala was told.

People who had bought tickets can be refunded but others prefer to keep them for the premiere in August.

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