Side by Side Masisizane

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Side by Side Masisizane is a musical written by by Kriben Pillay (1956-2020) , with music by Siva Devar and choreography by Merle Caminsky.

The original text

The piece, first written and produced in 1989, reflected on the changing racial demographics of UDW in the late 80's and on a society in a process of transition from the deep-rooted ideology of apartheid to a new dispensation and was the first original musical done by the Drama Department of the University of Durban-Westville.

A video of the original production of Side by Side Masisizane is preserved by University Television (UTEL) at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, and has been made available on a YouTube channel[1] dedicated to the theatre works of the UDW Drama Department and the Asoka Theatre.

Translations and adaptations

In 1993 Pillay wrote a third version of the musical, now entitled Coming Home, in which the story is now told in the context of exiles returning home at the start of the new dispensation. This version premiered at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 1993.

Performance history in South Africa

1989: The musical premiered on 9 May 1989 in the Asoka Theatre, performed by students from the University and directed by Merle Caminsky. The cast included Pat Pillai. Because of the huge success of its initial 12-day run, the play had a second run in August of that year.


"UTEL saves historic theatre productions for the archives", Alumni Relations, University of Kwazulu-Natal (October 31, 2018)[2]

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