Around the Fire: palpable originality

Around The Fire
Around The Fire

This event excites me, no end! I know the cast, and I know how hard they work. The success of the Wrestling With Dawn production, last December, had and has led to the much-applauded producer, playwright, performer, English literature and Bachelor of Arts major, Siphokazi Jonas, returning on 31 March with Around The Fire, at Artscape. The 90-minute stage production is set to rewrite a good few rulebooks, as each of her previous three works did before it.

The entirely original South African work unfolds within a unique fusion of theatre, poetry and lives music. Two of the performers are currently on The Voice SA. All of the highly talented band members feed concepts into the melting point, and herein lies the genesis of the work called Around the Fire.

Four women, all from very different backgrounds, Mbali, Faiza, Amber and Angel, find themselves sharing a makeshift fire on a rainy Cape Town evening. Brought together by unexpected circumstances, the four form a bond as fierce and fleeting as the fire. Mbali, the homeless guardian of the fire, and Eastern Cape ‘refugee’, liberates the stories that brought them together in an effort to understand her newfound place in a city that renders her invisible.

The production takes place as part of this year’s Artscape Spiritual Festival themed Healing Self – Healing Society.  The cast is made up of a Stella line-up of talent


Nolan Africa, a Drama graduate from UCT, dabbled in theatre and television, briefly, before joining the educational theatre world, delivers director and set design. In 2013, he completed an honours degree in Drama Therapy at WITS.  

Music composition and direction for Around The Fire falls to Sikhumbuzo Ndebele. As a Durban University of Technology jazz scholar, the songwriter, music composer and arranger has worked with the likes of Mthunzi Namba, Lindelani Mkhize, Nqubeko Mbatha and Sibongile Khumalo, amongst many others.

The balance of the cast sees UCT-trained guitarist Germaine Leonard, who was privileged enough to have Alvin Dyers as his mentor, in the mix too.

Vocalist and much-applauded multi-instrumentalist Keanu Harker joins the powerhouse collective, having recently wrapped up performing as part of the Adam Small Be Jazzed production.

The classically-trained pianist, jazz vocalist student and SAMRO Overseas Scholarship winner and The Voice SA 2016 contestant Zoe Modiga adds her voice to the ensemble, having performed and shared stages with the likes of Gloria Bosman, Matthew Gold and Marcus Wyatt.

Keys and vocal support comes in the form of Josh Prinsloo, the 2014 Music Experience’s Cape Town Folk and Acoustic Music Festival competition winner. Singled-out and commended by David Kramer for possessing a “fresh sound” as an artist whose work contains a good balance between serious and comedic subject matter.

Bass guitar duty is the responsibility to actor, dancer, model and musician Rosco Roman. Besides representing South Africa for Hip-hop dancing in Germany, the film actor and accomplished Jazz Studies graduate from UCT Roman recently performed at the Mother City Live Music Festival 2015

Jason Skippers is the collective’s beat keeper. Drummer, composer, producer and songwriter too, Skippers cut his musical teeth more than a decade ago, playing music in His People Church, and he’s been playing there ever since. He’s kept time with Judith Sepuma, Louie Brtitz, Elvis Blue and many more.

More keys and also a The Voice SA 2016 Contestant is what Eden Myrrh Toohey brings to Around The Fire, feeding the eclectic mix with her alternative pop sensibility. The teacher and mentor completed an Access Certificate in Jazz Piano at Howard University, Durban, and is currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing, as well as working towards completing her Classical Piano Teaching Diploma with the Royal Schools of London.

Not shy then on gifted players, this production shouldn’t be missed by those curious to sample palpable originality and entertainment worthy of proud export.


Gig of the weekend



Woodstock Live, Sunday 20 March 2016Trafalgar Park, Woodstock. 


Trafalgar Park (Corner of Searle Street and Victoria Road.)   

Gates open at 13h00

Concert from 14h00 to 24h00. 



The line up includes the following popular South African artists, who all in their own way have fascinating stories to tell in terms of their musical journeys:


  • Goodluck
  • Das Kapital
  • Tresor
  • Mix n Blend 
  • Los Tacos
  • DJ InviZAble feat. Computer General
  • Manny Walters
  • Ben Dey & the Concrete Lions
  • The Liminals


Tickets are available at 


Children under 12 (accompanied by adult)       FREE

Learners under 18 (accompanied by adult) R80.00

Pre-Sale                                                            R120.00

At the Gate                                                        R130.00

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