The Terrified Talabalushi
A brand new South African play for children at the Market Theatre.
The Market Theatre and the Windybrow Arts Centre is excited to end the year with a fresh South African offering for children, their family and friends. In a year that brought a range of excellent theatre experiences for young audiences to the Market Theatre Foundation, with the Cradle of Creativity Festival alone delivering over 5000 audience members, The Terrified Talabalushi, by acclaimed Cape Town-based writer, Megan Choritz, now comes to The Market from 23 November – 17 December 2023.
The Terrified Talabalushi is a theatre piece with music for children, directed by award-winning, Omphile Molusi and composed by the multi-talented Volley Nchabeleng. The Kwasha! Theatre Company, who have visited schools this year with Skin We Are In, is joined by two seasoned actors, Sanelisiwe Yekani and Siyambonga Mdubeki to bring this playful and meaningful adventure to life.
Set in the Knysna forest, the protagonist is Tokkie, a terrified young Talabalushi. Tokkie’s family have reached their wits’ end because their youngest, Tokkie, is terrified of everything, but mostly he is terrified of the light. This means that he can’t go out scaring, which is what he is meant to do.
Most people don’t know what Talabalushis are, which isn’t surprising – they are very secretive and are only active after sunset. A Talabalushi is a small, Southern African, mischievous creature, a combination of a goblin, a spirit, and a tree creature found in the unseen side of South African forests, and sometimes even closer to our villages, towns, and cities. Talabalushi came about to scare, confuse, and disrupt humans when they get too big for their boots. It is said that they are distantly related to the tokoloshe, but nobody has ever been able to prove it.
In 2019, the play was selected to be part of the ASSITEJ South African leg of the African Playwriting Competition. For this premiere production of the play at The Market Theatre, Megan Choritz has, in consultation with director, writer, and dramaturg Omphile Molusi, developed the script further.
Choritz shares, “I had the best and most productive time with Omphile. What a gift, to work with him. He is thoughtful, kind, brilliantly clever, naughty and fun. He has helped me turn The Terrified Talabalushi into such a delightful text and I know it will grow, change, and evolve on the rehearsal floor.”
Omphile has brought together a formidable creative team to create a fun and delightful experience bringing the Knysna forest and some of its creatures to The Market Theatre. Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and percussionist, Volley Nchabeleng, is adding live music to the work which will undoubtedly create a fitting atmosphere and sound to the world of the play.
This production promises to be an excellent way to explore the emotions of fear in a safe and entertaining way, while growing a love for the theatre. Join the excitement and head to The Market Theatre for an end-of-the-year storytelling treat in this heartfelt, enriching, and lively theatrical experience.
Tickets range from R100 – R150 per person, with special prices for groups of 10 or more. Tickets available through Webtickets.
For special group discounts contact Anthony Ezeoke at 011 832 1641 ext 203 or 083 246 4950.
Megan Choritz – Writer
Megan is a South African born playwright, writer, actor, director and improviser. She has spent all her life involved in making things up. She has written and co-written numerous plays and musicals, performs and directs theatre and improvises and teaches improv.
In 2020 her rhyming children’s book The Big Bird Battle was published by Penguin Struik. She is currently waiting to hear if her screenplay Green Margie and the Starlight will be made into a movie. Her plays The Tent, Clouds Like Waves, and Drive With Me all achieved critical acclaim, and her novel Lost Property, published in June 2023 has been incredibly well received.
Omphile Molusi – Dramaturg and Director
Omphile has been writing, directing, producing, and acting for theatre and TV since 2001. He is a published playwright with 6 titles and one article (Theatre of the Native Tongue). Molusi teaches playwriting and screenwriting at The Market theatre Laboratory and is an advisor for the UJ Playwriting laboratory. He’s also a storyliner and scriptwriter for television. Some of the shows he’s written for TV include Zone 14 drama series, It’s for life 9 reality show and Scandal!. He also wrote a short film Red Tape for Black Entertainment Television. He is the founder and artistic director of TsaMmu which has been organizing playwriting, screenwriting short courses and festivals since 2017. In 2007 he became the first recipient of the Brett Goldin Bursary Award, which gave him an opportunity to further refine his craft at the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK. He was awarded the Scotsman Fringe First Award 2008 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and won the Andre Deshields award for best performance at the Black Theatre Alliance Awards 2010 in Chicago, USA. He recently won the ASSITEJ Inspirational Playwright Award in 2021.
Volley Nchabeleng is a versatile multi-instrumentalist, composer, and percussionist, with about 20 years of experience touring the globe as ambassador of African sound, sharing and collecting African indigenous instruments, and an amazing performer, teacher and producer.
Volley Nchabeleng was born in South Africa in1978, he hails from the village of Masemola (Thabampshe), Limpopo Province.
He is one of multi-talented and versatile international percussionist in his right. Studied music at Sibikwa Arts Centre from the year 2001 and at the UNISA, worked with Drama for Life for 5 years as playback theatre musician. His musical genius resonates from a rather versatile perspective and the influence of world diverse sounds, He played music both in Africa, Europe and Asian continents; his tours include India, Belgium and Holland, Germany, France, Australia just to name few.
Volley composed music for theatre productions, “Africa My Love” and “Makhulu” by Portia Mashigo which toured Europe between 2009 and 2012, “eKhaya” by Tribhangi Dance Company “Morwa the Rising Son” by Tefo Paya and directed by Warren Nebe, which won Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award at NAF 2015. “PALEHO”by Lebo Leisa 2016, ANKOBIA by Monageng “Vice” Motshabi and Omphile Molusi, just to name a few.
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