1 hour 25 Minutes, no interval
Age restriction – No under 10’s
Strictly No entry after start
Immersive Theatre Experience
No food or drink allowed in to the auditorium

1789 is an innovative cutting-edge performance about Liberty, Equality and Fraternity – ideals that we still strive for and current ideologies with which we grapple. An immersive performance, inviting the audience to be part of the action, the production stays true to the original work of commentary and satire developed by Ariane Mnouchkine and the Théâtre du Soleil in the early 1970’s.

Named for the year of the French Revolution, the production transports its audience to the tumultuous streets of Paris – a country in turmoil on the brink of revolution. A gripping production of resilience and rebellion, the play follows the journey of a range of citizens and their rise against an oppressive regime in the quest for Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. Exploring notions of revolution, constitution, and power, the play highlights issues around capitalism, elitism, greed, and the corruption of toxic and hypocritical leadership.

The production is performed in English by a cast of 19 actors, co-directed by acclaimed theatre-makers Phyllis Klotz and Smal Ndaba, with vocal and movement coaching by Joel Zuma and Toni Morkel, respectively. The 18th century French-styled costumes and Parisian scenography surrounding five wooden stages, are designed by Wilhelm Disbergen.

Production Credits
Co-produced by Sibikwa Arts Centre and the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), with the support of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the French Institute in Paris and the City of Paris. Presented in association with Theatre du Soleil.

Collective creation by Theatre du Soleil, directed by Ariane Mnouchkine Translation by Amelia Parenteau
Directed by Phyllis Klotz and Smal Ndaba Musical Direction: Joel Zuma
Movement Direction: Toni Morkel
Costume, Lighting and Set Design: Wilhelm Disbergen Production management: POPArt Productions
Stage Management: Rudy Motseatsea

Siphiwe Nkabinde, Mlindeli Zondi, Khanyisile Ngwabe, Nomsa Mbatha, Masiza Mbali, Joel Zuma, Sibusiso Mkhize, Zevangeli Mampofu, Given Mayisela, Luyanda Masilela, Mpho Mnisi, Sandile Dhladhla, Sanelisiwe Mlkhaliphi, Slindile Mdlankomo, Thato Moeketsi, Tshepiso Ndlovu, Vuyokazi Boqwana, Zamokuhle Thwala

About the Artists
Phyllis Klotz & Smal Ndaba

Phyllis Klotz and Smal Ndaba, the co-founders of Sibikwa Arts Centre, have been involved in development theatre and arts education for many years, and are recognised as experts in the development of community arts centres. Theatre stalwarts, they have created seminal issue­-based productions that reflect their signature style, steeped in South African history and indigenous arts, many of which have toured the country and abroad. They are the recipients of several awards for their contribution to South African theatre and communities, including Phyllis’ Naledi Lifetime Achievement and Smal’s Service Excellence Award presented by the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

Wilhelm Disbergen

Wilhelm Disbergen is a prolific theatre designer. After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand, he moved to London, where he worked in major design studios and at The National Theatre. He regularly works in all major theatres in South Africa and is a multiple winner at the annual Naledi Theatre Awards. In 2018, he added a Fleur du Cap award to his name for lighting design.

Toni Morkel

Veteran theatre maker, performer and director, Toni Markel, joins Sibikwa as Physical Director on 1789. Toni’s most recent directorial work includes the acclaimed and award-winning FIREFLY; the Naledi nominated BALLOONACY for the National Children’s Theatre; and THE AGENTS for Robaby Productions. 1789 is Toni’s first collaboration with SIBIKWA.

Joel Zuma

Singer and showman, Joel Zuma, has starred in several musicals including Shaka Zulu, Jock of the Bushveld and King Kong. He brings his talent, expertise and experience to the production as Musical Director, vocal coach and performer.

Gladman Balintulo

Freelance Technical Manager, Gladman Balintulo, brings his decades of experience in sound design and management to the 1789 production. Gladman’s illustrious career has seen him work with Sibikwa Arts Centre, the Dance Umbrella and the Market Theatre amongst many other organisations and festivals, both nationally and internationally.