Dublin Theatre Festival

Mopo Productions
South Africa


Written and Directed by Lara Foot Newton

Venue Samuel Beckett Theatre
Date 11 Oct - 15 Oct 7.30pm
15 Oct 2.30pm
Duration 80mins

Scenography by Gerhard Marx
Lighting by Wesley France
Starring Mncedisi Shabangu and Kholeka Qwabe

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In 2001, South Africa was devastated by the news of a brutal rape of a nine-month-old child by the name of baby Tshepang in the small town of Louisvaleweg in the Northern Cape. Once the sensational story hit the headlines, the scab was torn off a festering wound, and hundreds of similar stories followed.

While the play is influenced by factual evidence, the story is purely fictional, weaving together “twenty thousand stories” (the number of reported child rapes in South Africa per year). Tshepang is a story of love, forgiveness and coming to terms with a devastation of this magnitude.

Lara Foot Newton, a recent recipient of the Rolex Protégé Award, worked alongside Sir Peter Hall last year, prior to returning to South Africa. She has directed many prizewinning shows, and this remarkable piece similarly draws on a South African style of story-telling, combining some striking visual imagery with an African sense of magic realism. She intrigues the audience by luring them into a world where sadness and despair live next to love, humour and hope. Tshepang is both intimate and urgent, approaching a supremely difficult subject in a uniquely poetic manner.

Not suitable for children.

“If you only see one show this year, Tshepang demands to be the one... superbly written and performed”
Sunday Independent (South Africa)

“The acting has a massive sculptural simplicity. That, and Gerhard Marx's set, with its toy village and basic props, suggests both the earthy vigour of Barney Simon's Market Theatre and the visionary realistic style of Peter Brook”
The Sunday Times

“a rich and rewarding theatrical experience... stunning scenography... I had to wipe away the tears before I could make any critical assessment”
Pretoria News

Click here to see photos.

Post Show Discussion on Thursday 13th October

Lara Foot Newton (Writer/Director of Tshepang and recent recipient of the prestigious Roles Award for directing) and Marcia Blumberg (specialist in contemporary theatre with a focus on South Afria) will conduct a post theatre discussion on the play and the current state of theatre in South Africa.

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