Junction Ave Theatre Company
Junction Ave Theatre Companyâ€™s first play Fantastical History of a Useless Man was first performed at the Nunnery Theatre in Johannesburg, in September 1976. Devised collectively in experimental theatre workshops it addressed itself primarily to a young English-speaking audience, asking: in these days of injustices and crisis, and against the history of colonialism, exploitation, racism â€“ what can we do to make a difference and change the course of history?
Other plays followed, created together with Workshop 71 members who had not gone into exile. Junction Avenue became the first non-racial theatre company in South Africa. The company created and scripted their own plays and composed songs that played an important role in all the productions. Songs spoke to underlying emotions and tensions, functioned as commentary, filled in narrative and set breaks in the action that encouraged audience reflection.
Here are songs from the plays Randlords and Rotgut, Marabi and Sophiatown, composed and sung / performed by members of Junction Ave Theatre Company, from 1976-1982. The main singers include Ramolao Makhene, Siphiwe Khumalo, Arthur Molepo, Patti Henderson, Patric Shai and Madidi Mapotho. (Copyright by Junction Ave theatre Company; the tape does not accredit individual artists)