Orpheus in Africa

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Orpheus in Africa is a musical by David Kramer

The original text

Based on the little known story of Orpheus McAdoo and the Virginia Jubilee Singers’ tour of the British colonies in the 1890s, the play tells of the first African American impresario to perform in the British colony of South Africa and at the same time the musical charts the evolution of African American music from spirituals (Jubilee songs) to jazz and includes several original songs by David Kramer.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

2009: Hemel & Aarde a musical production at Aardklop in the Amphitheatre in Potchefstroom.He is supported by Camillo Lombard at the keyboard, Howard Links on baseguitar?, Gammie Lackay on guitar, Denver Furniss on drums, Piet de Beer on violin, Ruth Marley and Elsbeth Davids]] background singers.

2015: Produced by Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre in February, it was directed by David Kramer with a cast that included Aubrey Poo as "Orpheus McAdoo", Lynelle Kenned, Jill Levenberg , Jessica Sole, Dean Balie, Sne Dladla, Sanda Shandu, Bianca Flanders, Edith Plaatjies, Graham Bourne, and Katlego Moncho. Set Design was by Saul Radomsky, Costume Design by Birrie le Roux Musical Direction and Arrangement by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and Lighting Design by Daniel Galloway and Benjamin du Plessis.

2015: Performed at the Fugard Theatre once more from September 22 - January 2, 2016, with virtually the whole original company returning to reprise their characters. Also joining the cast were Carlo Daniels, Robin Pieters and Jarrad Ricketts.


Rapport, 20 September 2009, p. 8.

The Fugard Theatre Newsletter (newsletter@thefugard.com), Thursday 9 October 2014.



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