Fine novel now a play

FRED Khumalo's novel Touch My Blood has been converted into a play by award-winning director James Ngcobo.

FRED Khumalo's novel Touch My Blood has been converted into a play by award-winning director James Ngcobo.

Ngcobo, who has successfully adapted various African novels, presents the show from July 8 at the Market Theatre, Newtown.

Released in 2006, Khumalo's book was shortlisted for the 2007 Alan Paton Award.

Touch My Blood provides a fascinating journey into the extraordinary life of gangsters and political upheavals. It's a compelling tale that at times turns hilarious, witty and full of pathos.

Touch My Blood was the greeting used by young men who called themselves The Dudes - hangovers from Sophiatown and the American-influenced gangsters that were the icons of the time. This is the tale of a young man growing up in Hammersdale township, just outside Durban.

Ngcobo said about the show: "Touch My Blood allows you to heal; it rewinds the tape, allowing you to witness some of what happened in South Africa. You're not only left with anger but you shake your head and laugh.

"In writing Touch MyBlood I wanted to write a book that would inspire young people to dream big, pay homage to our fallen heroes and enjoy life," Khumalo said in one of his interviews.

Ngcobo adapted Es'kia Mphahlele's book The Suitcase and The Hill by Zakes Mda with success. With The Suitcase Ngcobo won numerous awards in 2007.

The show boasts an experienced cast, with the likes of Zesuliwe Hadebe, Lesedi Job, Hlengiwe Lushaba, Mothusi Magano, Bheki Mkhwane, Andile Mngadi, Lunga Radebe and Lebo Toko.

Touch My Blood ends its run on August 23.

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