Soweto Melodic Voices

What a joy. Soweto Melodic Voices are a talented and inspiring group of young people who will fill you with emotion and wonder.

The group’s motto is ‘we sing when we’re happy and we sing when we’re sad,’ and with that they take us on a beautiful journey through spiritual gospel moments to raucous dance numbers. Yet no matter what the song, every single member of the choir is smiling and engaging, led by an equally beaming Neria Tselane Madikane. For me, the concert could have dispensed with the introduction and Madikane’s initial address preaching peace, as the music itself is so effective it needs no introduction. The programme contains enough information to appreciate what an impressive group they are, joined by musicians from the ages of 15 to 30. Most are from disadvantaged families, with the choir giving them a chance to enrich their lives and help with their education. Their love of music is clear from their smiles, their dancing and the passion in their voices.

The show starts with cacophonous laughter, stamping, whistling and screaming, as boys dressed in feathers and leopard skins fight with sticks on stage. They are soon joined by drummers, pounding their drums with amazing energy, building the scene as girls dance on stage until beautiful harmonies are filling the church. Their dynamics throughout were controlled and effective - they often held back with reduced numbers or soft singing in order to make their full sound all the more dramatic.

There were occasional tuning issues, but the exuberance of the singers almost rendered these moments meaningless. The soloist from ‘Come Follow Me’ delivered a beautiful and tender solo with impressive restraint from the rest of the choir as she softly lilted between the notes. However, the true knockout performance was from the soloist in ‘Ndimi Ndodwa’. She could belt out her notes and do all manner of vocal tricks, loud and soft, without any form of amplification.

The different costumes, dances, rhythms and sounds produced by the choir created a truly inspiring show celebrating Soweto life. As they usher the audience out with their encore song, the choir pass on their warmth and enthusiasm. Soweto Melodic Voices left me with a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

Reviews by Carys Evans

The Battersea Barge

I Love You You're Perfect Now Change

★★★
The Crazy Coqs Cabaret & Jazz Club

Ray Shell - Back To Black II

★★★
Camden People's Theatre

The Forensics of a Flat (and other stories)

★★★
Leicester Square Theatre / THE LONDON THEATRE - New Cross

Jo Burke: Burke Shire

★★★
St James Theatre

Urinetown: The Musical

★★★★

Back To Black

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, offering a vibrant, life-affirming, joyous celebration of traditional to contemporary African music, song and dance. Performing at the Fringe for the first time following international success and acclaim, a delight for everyone.

Most Popular See More

Anything Goes

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets