by Jane Rosenstein and Didier Lambert
A new musical play, Madiba Le Musical , in tribute to Nelson Mandela with a cast of superb actors, singers and dancers is playing at Le Comedia Theatre in Paris until March 27, 2016. The play was produced by Jean-Pierre Hadida and Francisca Disegni by their company Broadway Mad, appropriately named because they like plays from Broadway, New York . It is based on the book about Nelson Mandela written by Jean-Pierre Hadida and Alicia Sebrien.
The message of this play is to show how Nelson Mandela’s ideas helped to end apartheid and change the world.
In the beginning, a narrator arrives on the stage followed by music and dancing There is a short film clip about the events in the 1960s and early 1970s including Martin Luther King, scenes of blacks being beaten and the first computers.. First we see Mandela as an attorney in Johannesburg helping the victims of apartheid. Then he is condemned to life in prison.
Twenty years later, Sam who was in the same prison as Nelson Mandela met him and looked up to him as his model, gets out of prison and asks his fiance, Sandy, who works for the family of a white policeman, to help get Mandela freed.. She asks the daughter of the policeman, Helena, to ask ask her father to help. Sam’s younger brother William falls in love with Helena but they can not be seen together due to apartheid.
After twenty-seven years, Nelson Mandela is freed and becomes President of South Africa. His dream of apartheid ending comes true and now the interracial couple Sam and Helena can be together.
Music and dance bring emotions to this play. We saw the attentiveness of the audience. Superb acting,singing and the dancers with their colorful costumes add to the enjoyment. The scenery changes frequently and the sets are magnificently done.
James Noah is magnificent in the role of Nelson Mandela as attorney, prisoner and President of South Africa. He spoke with us afterwards and told us that he studied the role of Mandela extensively and enjoyed playing the role.
The other members of the cast include:
- Lunik Grio – the narrator
- Juliette Behar Helena Van Leden the young white African in love with William
- Manu Vince – William Xulu the young Black militant in love with Helena
- Jean Lu Guizonne – Sam
- Falone Tayoung – Sandy
- Roland Karl – Peter Van Leden the policeman who is the father of Helena and guards, spies and dancers.
Even those who do not understand French will enjoy this play and applaud the actors and dancers for conveying the message of an end to apartheid.
Madiba Le Musical is going to be played in other cities in France.
- April 16, 2016 – Saint -Ammand-les-Eaux – Pasino
- April 22, 2016 – Hyères – Casino des Palmeres
- April 23, 2016 – Aix-en Provence – Casino
- May 3, 2016 – Forges-les-Eaux -Espace de Forgers
- May 21, 2016 – La Grande Motte-Pasino
- June 11, 2016 – Bandol -Casino
- November 19, 2016 – Divonne les Bains-Pasino