Ubuntu through Drumming

Drum Struck the world’s first interactive theatre performance has a few surprises this year. With an amazing cast and a brand new script, the show is ready to set crowds alight. Both directors Warren Lieberman and Kathy-Jo Wein has been collaborating to stun audiences both in Edinburgh and Japan this year.

This year’s Drum Struck is an analogy of civilized society, with social issues and community portrayed through interactive drumming. Ubuntu the South-African concept of community “We are who we are through community” is at the heart of the performance and with Nelson Mandela, in hospital, the message strikes a very emotional cord with South Africans and people all over the world.

The story takes place in a traditional African village and the opening scene starts of with traditional Venda dances – Tshikona and Tshigombela. These dance pieces are followed-up with the Ubuntu queen demonstrating the concept Ubuntu through dance and rhythm.  The story takes a sad turn when gold is discovered and everything changes in the village. The villagers break the Ngoma drum and fighting breaks out, cleverly portrait by a drumming “battle”, a fabulous drum performance composed by Africa Djani and Anthony Caplan. Followed with the incredible song; Senzenina -“What have we done?” performed by the villagers.

Over the years the village deteriorates into a slum and the community is overrun by two gangs. The gangs start fighting each other and in the process the “Ubuntu Queen” becomes disillusioned and leaves the village.

The drum maker urges the community through song to change their ways and helps the village to reconcile, re-build the Ngoma drum and bring back the Ubuntu Queen.

Through the concept of Ubuntu and the spirit of the drum everybody comes together and unites once again.