Orpheus in Africa


To mark the 5th year of the Fugard being open, David Kramer’s brand new South African musical and world premiere – Orpheus in Africa – opened, and it was written and directed by David Kramer. It had a return season from 22 September to 2 January 2016.

Orpheus in Africa tells the little-known story of the American impresario Orpheus McAdoo and his African-American Virginia Jubilee Singers, who visited South Africa in the 1890s. Their tour began in Scotland, where Orpheus met Lady Loch – the wife of the British Governor of the Cape – who invited them to Cape Town. It was here some 125 years ago that the Jubilee Singers became an unlikely overnight sensation.


First season
28 January–
23 February 2015

Return season
22 September 2015–
19 January 2016

Main Theatre

Original Cast

Orpheus McAdoo
Aubrey Poo

Mattie Allen
Lynelle Kenned

Eugene McAdoo, Orpheus Understudy
Zolani Shangase

Lucy Moten
Jill Levenberg

Lady Loch, Rose, Theatre Manager’s Assistant
Jessica Sole

Finnegan, Ernst Logan
Dean Balie

Egbert Washburn, Trooper, Student Leader
Sne Dladla

Richard Collins
Sanda Shandu

JP Toerien, Havel, Curtis, Raymond
Gideon Lombard

Mamie Edwards
Bianca Flanders

Belle Gibbons
Edith Plaatjies

Manager, Mr Mitchell, Cover Pianist
Godfrey Johnson

Moses Hodges, Tailor
Graham Bourne

Willard Thompson, Rasdien
Grant Peres

Young Maiden, Tap Dancer
Katlego Moncho

Pianist & Conductor
Stefan Lombard

Clarinet & Pianist
Matt Foster

Creative team

Writer, Director
David Kramer

Eric Abraham

Daniel Galloway

Associate Producer
Renaye Kramer

Musical Director & Arrangements
Charl-Johan Lingenfelder

Set Design
Saul Radomsky

Costume Design
Birrie Le Roux

Vocal Director & Choir Master
Alistair Izobel

Lighting Design
Daniel Galloway
Benjamin du Plessis

Sound Design
Mark Malherbe for Prosound

Resident Director
Greg Karvellas

Set Construction
Gerhard Morkel

Scenic Painter
Juanita Ferreira

Production team

Production Manager
Roberto Grové

Stage Manager
Juanita van Wyk

Assistant Stage Manager
Shayna Gleave Assistant

Stage Manager, Dresser
Widaad Albertus

Sound Operator
Werner Sassman

Mic Technician
Trevor Mbofana
David Clarke

Clynt Hlubi
Achmat Khroodien
Sean Whitehead

Production Assistant
Koos Marais

Chief Costumier
Kobus O’ Callaghan

Shanaaz Benjamin

Bayson Moreni
Charles Beni
Brenda Plaatjies–Andrews

Wardrobe Assistant
Widaad Albertus
Juanita Ferreira

Cathy Collard
Maria du Toit

Hilette Stapelberg

Jacqui Colbe

Sound Supplier
Eastern Acoustics

Jesse Kate Kramer

Allison Foat for DIVA PR


“… skitterende nuwe musiekblyspel …”
Die Burger
“… a world-class home-grown product that deserves an international stage. Don’t miss it.”
Daily Maverick
“Enthusiastically exceptional…The musical discovery of the year”
The Cape Times
Orpheus in Africa is an artistic triumph…”

The Next 48 Hours

“… Triumphant … Kramer perfectly melds history and melody”

The Cape Argus

Orpheus in Africa is fit for Broadway”

The Weekend Argus