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Isango Ensemble

Aesop’s Fables, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and La Bohème

Hackney Empire
291 Mare Street London E 8 1 EJ Box Office 020 8985 2424
Overground to Hackney Central, Buses 30, 38, 48, 55, 106, 236, 242, 253, 254, 276, 277
wwww.hackneyempire.co.uk

www.hackneyempire.co.uk

The multi award winning Cape Town company returns to London for a four week season at Hackney Empire from Friday 11 May to Sunday 3 June 2012. The Hackney Empire, supported by the Columbia Fund, will present Aesop’s Fables, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and La Bohème which will première in Cape Town in partnership with The Global Fund on 16 February. The press performances will on Sat 19 May at 10.30am Aesop’s Fables; 2.30pm The Ragged Trousered & 7.00pm La Bohème.

Isango’s Aesop’s Fables is a vibrant and powerful musical by Mandisi Dyantyis and

Pauline Malefane with a script by Peter Terson. Although Aesop is portrayed as a Greek the production is set within the recent history of South Africa. Aesop was historically a slave and in Peter Terson’s script he ‘learns that liberty comes with responsibility’ as he journeys to Mount Olympus meeting his animal characters on the way. Hackney Empire and Eric Abraham present The Isango Ensemble production of Aesop’s Fables adapted and directed by Mark Dornford-May with music by Pauline Malefane and Mandisi Dyantyis, with choreography by Lungelo Ngamlana.

The Isango Ensemble’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists musical adaptation by Stephen Lowe of Robert Tressell’s seminal work opened The Fugard Theatre in Cape Town in 2010. It was the Company in Residence for the first year. The book is one of the most influential twentieth century socialist novels. Robert Tressell spent much of his early life in Cape Town and the novel bears hidden traces of his life in the then Cape colony. Isango’s version moves the action to an apartheid era 1950s Cape Town with popular and Struggle songs from that time. Hackney Empire and Eric Abraham present The Isango Ensemble production of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists directed by Mark Dornford-May with music by Pauline Malefane and Mandisi Dyantyis.

Isango's version of La Bohème will transfer the story from the garrets of Paris to the townships of South Africa. The music will be played on Marimbas and Steel Pans in a style similar to the company's Olivier Award-winning The Magic Flute which was seen at the Young Vic in 2007 and the Duke of York’s Theatre in 2008. The townships where the performers come from are amongst some of the world's highest infection areas for TB. In the company's extended families many are living with the realities of TB on a daily basis. Hackney Empire and The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria in partnership with Isango Ensemble present La Bohème adapted and directed by Mark Dornford-May, music directors Pauline Malefane and Mandisi Dyantyis with words by Peter Cann and Isango Ensemble.

The press performances will on Sat 19 May at 10.30am Aesop’s Fables; 2.30pm The Ragged Trousered & 7.00pm La Bohème.

2 February 2012