An African epic telling the up-lifting story of one man’s incredible journey
“Bursting with life, warts and all, this is a full-blooded hymn to that most fragile of human qualities: hope.” ★★★★★ Daily Mail
“A powerful testament to the resilience of humanity” ★★★★ The Guardian
“Burns bright with humanity and hope. A brilliantly vibrant evening.” What's On Stage
Asad is a young Somalian refugee with a painful past, a brilliant head for business and miraculously good luck. After years in a refugee camp, then learning to hustle in the streets of Ethiopia, he sets off for the promised land of South Africa. But dreams and reality are very different. Once he has arrived in the townships, his adventures really begin.
Based on interviews with the real-life Asad Abdullahi, Jonny Steinberg’s 2015 book, A Man of Good Hope is much more than the simple biography of a lonely young migrant who longs for a decent life. It’s an epic African saga that explores important modern issues including crime, trafficking, xenophobia and racism.
This is truly exhilarating theatre, bursting with life, a full-blooded hymn to that most fragile of human qualities: hope. Part play, part opera and part musical, Asad’s story unfolds with joyous ensemble singing and roof-raising marimba, djembe drum and percussion sound. A twenty five-strong company delivers the story with incredible dynamism, delight and irresistible South African style.
A Man of Good Hope is a co-production between London’s powerhouse Young Vic Theatre and Cape Town-based Isango Ensemble. Founded in 2000 by Mark Dornford-May and Pauline Malefane, Isango has won international fame for its adaptations of The Mysteries and classic operas – Carmen, La Boheme, The Magic Flute – seen from a contemporary South African township perspective. Its previous collaboration with the Young Vic, The Magic Flute (Impempe Yomlingo) was the hugely popular winner of an Olivier Award in 2014.
Based on the book by
Music composed by
Mandisi Dyantyis with the Ensemble
Performed in English with English lyrics and Chinese surtitles