Alex Motswiri Director of African Tree Productions – producers of last year’s hit show The System, talks to Pete Shaw about their new Musical – Magadi – The Bride’s Price.
We can say without any doubt in our minds, that the Fringe is an excellent international platform for artists and arts production companies to showcase their work to an international audience.
Tell us about this year’s Edinburgh Show.
“We cannot hide our excitement at coming back to Edinburgh for this year’s Fringe to debut our new musical Magadi – The Bride’s Price. The musical is fresh, exciting, and has an ensemble cast of nine fantastic South African performers. Essentially Magadi is a love story which explores modern day African lifestyle verses ancient African customs as depicted in the lives of two childhood sweethearts, Ngwedi and her suitor and heir to the Nguni’s sacred soil Kingship, Mzamo. Both share the same African ancestry but live lives that are worlds apart. All we can say to people who visit the Fringe is; prepare yourself for a musical explosion that fuses African dance, music, melody with great drama. We promise the audience an experience of a lifetime.”
You were a big hit at the festival last year – has this had an impact on your work back in South Africa?
“Yes most definitely. The System which played at Just The Tonic Caves was a huge success last year and was a favourite with the critics and audiences who saw the show. We were delighted and humbled to receive a clutch of four and five star rave reviews. At this point we must say that we had a lot of people to thank for the success of the show not least our sponsors The Lottery board in South Africa, whose support enabled us to get to Edinburgh, plus of course the performers.
“On our return to Soweto we were able to build on our success in Edinburgh. Almost immediately we were invited to perform The System at the prestigious State Theatre in the capital, Tswane (formerly Pretoria) as part of the Mzansi Fela Festival . Also since returning from the Fringe we have been humbly overwhelmed by invitations from all over the world by theatre houses, companies and festival organisers who either saw the show in Edinburgh or heard about the show. We are happy to report that African Tree Productions will be performing The System at the Wan Smolbag Theatre at the 25th Anniversary International festival in pacific Island of Vanuatu during June and July, and we will be performing at the New York City Fringe starting 8th August to 25 August 2014. Additionally, the Tribes Project, a cultural theatre Organisation based in Seattle, Washington USA have invited us to partner with them for a cultural collaboration. So as you can see, African Tree Productions will be busy with many international commitments, thanks to our international debut at Edinburgh Fringe.”
Edinburgh embraces a lot of international work - how would you encourage more international companies to bring their shows to the festival?
“It is true; The Edinburgh Fringe is truly an international arts platform and the biggest in the world. We can say without any doubt in our minds, that the Fringe is an excellent international platform for artists and arts production companies to showcase their work to an international audience.”
What's the one thing you are most looking forward to this August?
“With the success of The System last year, we are looking forward to an even greater production and greater audiences. And we think the audience can also look forward to an electrifying beauty of African cultures infused in Magadi – The Bride’s Price.
Basically what we can say is that this show is made for the audience with Love from African Tree Productions. And we are looking forward to take as many awards we could possibly be considered for.”
Magadi – The Bride’s Price
Just The Old Foundry
31st July - 24th August 2014(Except 12) 2:20pm-3:40pm