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A new original musical premieres in Johannesburg in August

Calling Me Home
Back LTR Anthony Downing, Lynelle Kenned. Middle LTR Musanete Sakupwanya, Michael McMeeking. Front LTR Samantha Peo, Zolani Mahola

Johannesburg audiences are in for a treat when the world premiere of the new and original musical, Calling Me Home takes place on 17 August on The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre, running until 3 September 2017.

Cape Town audiences get their chance next year with negotiations currently taking place to tour the show internationally thereafter. Calling me Home is a powerful love story of hope, courage, longing and compassion that will resonate with people everywhere. As the audience follows the story of Grace, a young woman, who flees her homeland due to the outbreak of a brutal civil war, it is taken on an exciting journey that stretches from the splendours of the African continent, across the ocean to a great foreign city. In this new, hugely diverse and colourful community, Grace experiences both joy and great danger. She also falls deeply in love and most importantly, learns the true meaning of ‘home’. Premiering in Women’s Month, Calling Me Home is a collaboration between two highly creative and powerful women in the South African music and theatre industry. The book, score and libretto were written by composer and producer Alice Gillham, who is signed with EMI Music Publishing / Sony/ATV and who lives and works in South Africa. She effortlessly fuses the genres of classical music, African hybrid, jazz and traditional folksong to create bewitching and evocative music that brings the story to life, providing her audience with a deeply human and emotional experience. Joining Gillham in bringing this musical to the stage, is director Magdalene Minnaar. According to Minnaar, this production has the potential to have a profound impact on the world.

The style of the music, the words and the entire concept blew me away and I have every reason to believe that this is a potential hit show…I was hooked from the first song I heard – epic, sophisticated, heartfelt and sincere are words that spring to mind.” – Rodney Trudgeon, Fine Music Radio

Says Minnaar; “The content is extremely current and we have incredibly talented people in Africa. You rarely get a chance to be part of a brand new local production of this calibre.” Calling Me Home depicts the journeys of three women who each find their own personal power. Grace (Lynelle Kenned) a young African woman flees her war-torn homeland to try to survive in a country of concrete cityscapes, crime and danger. With her is her new friend Lindiwe (Zolani Mahola), who too has fled her home, but in Lindiwe’s case, it is a flight from abuse and pain. Finally, there is the beautiful but deeply troubled Isabella (Samantha Peo), who finds the strength and courage to conquer almost insurmountable challenges when she overcomes addiction, both chemical and emotional, to take the moral lead in her community. The work is a global story with far-reaching current relevance. Each cast member of this large ensemble piece will play a vital part in the story. According to Minnaar, choosing the right artists was critical as they will have the opportunity to bring their characters to life for the very first time. “We have carefully chosen hugely talented singers who bring storytelling energy, creativity and a spirit of adventure to this journey. Their energy is amazing and their talent world-class,” Minnaar stated. The complete Southern African cast consists of some of the country’s most celebrated stage performers, well-known personalities and some up-and-coming young stars (Introducing the cast of Calling Me Home).

…the most anticipated musical opera to be hitting the South African stages this year!” – Sony/ATV Music Publishing

With a strong emphasis on the music being new and original, composed specifically for the production, Calling Me Home will be releasing a selection of the songs to the public throughout the season.

Two songs have been released thus far:

‘Tomorrow’ sung by Lynelle Kenned

‘Calling Me Home’ sung by Zolani Mahola

More songs will be released in the near future.

Calling Me Home runs at Joburg Theatre from 17 August – 3 September 2017. Performances are Tuesdays to Fridays at 20:00; Saturdays at 15:00 and 20:00 and Sundays at 14:00. Ticket prices range from R180 – R420. And can be booked online at or by calling the Box Office on 0861 670 670 or through Webtickets. For group bookings of 10 or more tickets, contact Joburg Theatre’s ticketing office on (011) 877 6853/4. The duration of the show is 2 hours 20 minutes excluding interval. There is an age restriction of 12 due to the sensitive nature of some of the themes included in the show.

Calling Me Home can be found on the following social media platforms:

Official Show Hashtag: #CallingMeHomeMusical | Twitter: @CMH_musical | Instagram: callingmehomemusical | Facebook: callingmehomemusical

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For more about the cast of Calling Me Home, click here: Introducing the cast of Calling Me Home.

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