Woza Albert!

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Woza Albert!
Written by Percy Mtwa
Mbongeni Ngema
Barney Simon
Date premiered 1981
Place premiered Market Theater
Genre Political satire
Setting South Africa

Woza Albert! is a political satire play that imagines the second coming of Christ in apartheid-ridden South Africa.

The play[edit]

The play opened at Johannesburg's Market Theater and toured in Europe and America as the most successful play to come out of South Africa, winning more than 20 prestigious awards worldwide. In 2003 it was produced by Terence Frisby at the Criterion Theatre in London.

Woza Albert! (which means "Rise Albert") was written by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema, and Barney Simon in 1981. In 2002, it was performed in London by Siyabonga Twala and Errol Ndotho.

The two actors play roles of various black South Africans - a vendor, barber, servant, manual labourer, soldier - receiving the news that Christ (Morena) has arrived in South Africa, where a Calvinist white elite imposes apartheid. Christ's arrival precipitates a crisis, and the government launches a nuclear bomb against the peacemaker. In the ruins, great South African leaders in resistance to apartheid such as Albert Luthuli, assassinated president of the African National Congress, are resurrected. They play dozens of parts that involve them using many skills such as acting, mime, singing and dance. They also create images using a few words and actions.

The film[edit]

A film was made under the same title, following the success of the play. A BBC-TV team, led by David M. Thompson, undertook the filming of the movie while in South Africa to film elections in 1981.[1] Equipment was scant, as was time, but nonetheless the film captured the performances that are the core of the film.[2]


External links[edit]