Derby Theatre is set to present The Suitcase directly from Hull City of Culture, as part of a UK tour, and presented by the highly acclaimed The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, from Wednesday 20 until Saturday 23 September.
Based on a true story, The Suitcase has been nominated in the New Director category in the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards for The Rosalie van der Gucht Prize. Director James Ngcobo saw enormous theatrical potential in this poignant and emotive story and so adapted it for the stage.
The production – evocative, visual and moving – encompasses African storytelling and lyrical music at its very best. It’s a story never more relevant to our time, exploring issues of identity, migration, exile and celebration of the human spirit.
1950s South Africa. A young newly married couple leave their rural village and disapproving family for the city of Durban. Their goal: to return home rich and free. But, alienated in the city, unemployed and poor, Timi starts to lose his moral compass. Desperate to provide for his pregnant wife, he steals a suitcase left on a bus not knowing what might be inside; an act which brings frightening consequences, dramatic twists and unexpected turns.
The cast includes acclaimed television and stage actor Siyabonga Thwala as Timi Ngobese, (South African TV dramas Isindigo, Rhythm City and Generation), Masasa Mbangeni as Namhla Ngobese (South African Film and Television Awards ‘Best Actress’ for role in TV drama Scandal!; BBC’s Silent Witness), John Lata as Pitso (sketch comedy series Dube on 2 and Dube on 2 – Reloaded; sitcom My Perfect Family), and Desmond Dube as Mlotshwa (United Artists and Lions Gate Films’ Hotel Rwanda; BBC and HBO’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.)
The show features a live score composed by the legendary Hugh Masekela. Musicians include singer Nokukhanya Dlamini (who has worked with some of South Africa’s most prolific artists including Sibongile Khumalo and Gloria Bosman, as well as releasing her own jazz and gospel inspired albums), singer Gugu Shezi (whose career launched on the first season of Idols, and who has since worked with artists such as Hugh Masekela and Mafikizolo), soul singer Nomfundo Sambo, and guitarist Bheki Khoza (who was resident with American jazz musician Larry Ridley).
Tickets are priced from £15.50 and can be purchased online via Derby Theatre’s website.