The Lion and the Jewel for Jozi

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

After an impressive season last month at the South African State Theatre in Pretoria, The Lion and the Jewel is now coming to Market Theatre, Newtown.

Written by one of Africa's most distinguished playwrights and Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka, the show boasts a star-studded cast.

It features TV stars such as Sello Maake ka Ncube, Nthati Moshesh, Fezile Mpela and Warona Seane.

Directed by award-winning director James Ngcobo, TheLion and the Jewel explores the traditional values of the Yoruba people against European ideas.

The Lion and The Jewel is peppered with conflicts - not only between the protagonists but also between progress and tradition, differing views on the role of women, the sexes and intellect versus cunning.

Set in Ilujinle, a Yoruba village in Nigeria, the story looks at the sexual rivalry between a teacher, Lakunle, and the village chief, Baroka. The object of their attentions is a simple village girl, Sidi, who is the play's jewel.

Lakunle tries to woo her through adoration and insult. He sees the traditional polygamous set-up as primitive and objects to paying ilobola .

Baroka, the lion, does well by following tradition. He takes a new wife every now and then and has concubines besides.

l The play opens runs from May 13 to June 8.