Ngcobo adapts for Market

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Award-winning playwright and actor James Ngcobo presents his latest production The Amen Corner, at the Market Theatre, Newtown Complex on January 11 at the Laager Theatre. It runs until February 27.

Ngcobo, who is also a skilled director, last year swept the boards with his show The Suitcase, an adaptation of Es'kia Mphahlele's novel. That show was nominated for 10 Naledi Awards and won six. Could he be planning a repeat?

The Amen Corner, originally created by American writer James Baldwin, is directed by Ngcobo. This is a three-act play thatexplores the role of evangelical churches in African-American family life. It also looks at the effect of poverty born of racial prejudice on the African-American life.

It was Baldwin's first attempt at theatre following his novel Go Tell it on the Mountain.

It was first published in 1954, and inspired a 1983 Broadway musical adaptation of the same name.

The estate of Baldwin has given permission to adapt the work to a South African context and community.

The Amen Corner boasts a top notch line-up that includes Baby Cele and Sello Sebotsoane among others.

Cele, the star of's soapie Backstage, was last seen on stage in a production of Cards in 2005.