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New Energy as The Market Theatre lines up its end-of-the-year programming.

This festive season, The Market Theatre has an exciting family-friendly end-of-the-year programme on offer with two brand-new South African plays on its stages.  

The Market Theatre has enjoyed a period of newfound energy and success in the recent months under the leadership of its new Artistic Director, Greg Homann, who took up the role in January. Across a remarkable year of diverse work, the theatre has presented outstanding productions such as Mpume Mthombeni and Neil Coppen’s Isidlamlilo, J Bob’s Tshabalala’s Khongolose Khommanding Khommissars, and the stage adaptation of Damon Galgut’s The Promise, along with a lineup of sensational music concerts that has included Billy Monama’s Mayibuye iAfrika, The Mahotella Queens, The African Jazz Pioneers, and Desire Marea. It hosted three festivals, namely Jomba! @ The Market with innovative international dance performances, WOMAD @ The Market celebrating world music diversity, and The Cradle of Creativity for young audiences. In August, The Market Theatre paid a fitting tribute to John Kani on the occasion of the legendary actor’s eightieth birthday. This month it relaunched the newly refurbished Barney Simon Theatre with the award-winning dance-drama from the Cape, Karatara, based on loss experienced around the Kynsna fires of 2018.

The Market Theatre is now gearing up for a festive season filled with entertainment, laughter, and inspiration.

The theatrical centrepiece of this end-of-the-year programming is the brand-new South African comedy A Marry Little Christmas, written by Homann himself. The play was commissioned during the 2020 pandemic shutdown by How Now Brown Cow Productions, who are now co-producing the work in partnership with The Market Theatre.

The laugh-a-minute new comedy is being brought to life by an outstanding cast of nine, directed by the multiple award-winning Charmaine Weir-Smith.

Set against the backdrop of an unnamed golf estate on the north-west edge of Johannesburg, the story revolves around Arnold Hartmann, who, at 45 and three-quarters, aims to propose to Natalie Cloete before hosting the perfect ‘traditional’ Christmas lunch. However, chaos ensues as both families arrive prematurely, leading to hilarious chaos and misunderstandings.

Homann shares, “This play has been a few years in the making, with the initial idea for it dating back to an animated festive lunch with my own family. Although not based directly on any one Christmas gathering, the roots of it are deeply connected to my own family’s dynamics and antics.”

The sensational cast features some of South Africa’s best loved talent and stars, with Antony Coleman and Kim Cloete returning to The Market as the leading couple at the centre of the comedy. They are joined by James Borthwick, Judy Ditchfield, Louise Saint-Claire, Ilse Klink, Roberto Pombo, Zolani Shangase, and Trevor Lynch.

A Marry Little Christmas will premiere on the John Kani stage from 29 November to 24 December. It is a must-see production for the holiday season.

For a younger audience, The Market Theatre, in collaboration with the Windybrow Arts Centre, is presenting The Terrified Talabalushi, a new play with music for children, directed by award-winning Omphile Molusi. It features live music by multi-instrumentalist and composer Volley Nchabeleng who is creating an immersive atmosphere and sound for the play. Bringing this playful and meaningful adventure to life is The Kwasha! Theatre Company, known for their production Skin We Are In which has travelled to many schools this year, along with actors Sanelisiwe Yekani and Siyambonga Mdubeki.

Set in the Knysna forest, The Terrified Talabalushi follows Tokkie, a young Talabalushi who is terrified of everything, but mostly the light.

The Terrified Talabalushi is a fun filled play that promises to be an excellent way to explore the emotions of fear in a safe and entertaining way, while growing a love for the theatre. Don’t miss the opportunity to share in this heartfelt, enriching, and lively theatrical experience, perfect for all audiences.

If you, your family, and friends are looking for something different to do this festive season, then The Market Theatre is the place to be, offering a diverse range of performances that cater to all audiences.