James Ngcobo and Danny Boyle go to tandem for children’s charity


On November 13th, Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle will direct a star-studded Hollywood cast in The Children’s Monologues at New York’s Carnegie Hall. On the same night, the Market Theatre’s Artistic Director James Ngcobo will, in tandem, direct a star-studded, all-female South African production of The Children’s Monologues at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg. This is the second consecutive year that the Market Theatre will present this global and special one night only fundraising performance.

The Children’s Monologues, featuring testimonials by children, adapted for the stage by multi-award-winning playwrights and performed by world-renowned casts, highlight the power of creative storytelling to raise awareness about the challenges facing children living through poverty and conflict. Two previous versions have been staged to sold-out houses at London’s The Old Vic and Royal Court theatres and were also directed by Danny Boyle, a founding trustee of the registered charity, Dramatic Need.

Danny Boyle’s production this year will feature Charlize Theron, Trevor Noah, Susan Sarandon, James McAvoy, Audra McDonald, Common, Daniel Kaluuya, Lena Dunham, Daveed Diggs, Ewan McGregor, Javier Munoz and others to tell the unforgettable stories of children growing up in Rammulotsi, the township adjacent to Vijoenskroon.

James Ngcobo’s production at the Market Theatre will feature an all-star and all women South African cast of Chi Mhende, Nomzamo Mbatha, Pearl Thusi, Fiona Ramsay, Lesedi Job, Lerato Gwebu, Natasha Sutherland, Esmeralda Bihl, Lulu Mlangeni and Zola Nombona.

“We believe in the potential of every child and young person, no matter who they are, what they have done or what they have been through. We will support them, stand up for them and bring out the best in each child. Every year we hope to help the community of Viljoenskroom so children can turn their lives around. But we cannot do it without the public – we ask you to dig deep in your pockets and to attend The Children’s Monologues at the Market Theatre. It is one way of helping us to secure a brighter future for our children,” said James Ngcobo.

Ngcobo’s production will feature testimonials by children growing up in rural townships in the Free State surrounded by violence, abuse and family conflict that they cannot escape.

“The monologues are a vehicle for audiences and actors to connect with the children and to almost see inside the children’s hearts and provide a voice of assurance that their future is not bleak and that their circumstances does not define who they are,” said Zama Buthelezi, the Market Theatre’s Brand & Communications Manager. “The Market Theatre’s local version of this global fundraiser will be presented with the same finesse and precision as our counterparts in New York,” she added.

Ticket cost R200 with the proceeds going towards the registered charity, Dramatic Need. The charity runs an arts and culture centre at a farm in the very poor community of Viljoenskroom, Free State. Partial proceeds will also benefit the Market Theatre Foundation’s two development units, the Market Photo Workshop and the Market Theatre Laboratory.


Follow the link: www.dramaticneed.org

About Dramatic Need:

Dramatic Need introduces vulnerable children in rural South Africa and Rwanda to the creative arts to cope with trauma and hardship. It works to develop visual literacy and freedom of expression without recourse to violence. The organisation believes that creativity, not money, has the best chance of changing a generation of children’s attitudes to themselves and to each other. Through engagement in drama, visual arts, filmmaking and music, these children are empowered to confront complex issues with confidence and to resolve – rather than engage in conflict. Its classes are running at full capacity, with demand far outstripping what it can supply.

About The Children’s Monologues

The original Monologues played to a sold-out theatre and were covered by every major news outlet in the UK. The production highlighted to an international audience the challenges these children face and the power of creative storytelling to change attitudes and prejudice within developing communities. It was a unique event, in terms of offering both glamour and integrity. The proceeds funded a permanent arts centre in rural South Africa that now runs six workshops a week and serves hundreds of local children. The original event was staged at London’s The Old Vic and was put together by Danny Boyle, a founding trustee of Dramatic Need. Dramatic Need is a registered charity: 1119443 (UK), PBO: 930039815 (SA).

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Article by: John-Otto Phike, Article Contributor: Lindokuhle Mbonani, Photographer: Katlego Mokubyane, Photographer Assist: Sandile Mkhize, Junior Creative Direction: Modise Motaung, Creative assist : Thembi Zikalala, Production Coordinator: ...