Hallelujah – a blend of soulful jazz

Fiona Ramsay has adapted the original script to broaden the scope of issues young artists face.

Audiences can look forward to the return of Xoli Norman’s Hallelujah, a musical that is layered with poetry and a blend of soulful jazz.

The original theatre production was brought to life 16 years ago by award winning actress, director and voice coach, Fiona Ramsay.

A woman of many talents, Ramsay initially directed the play in 2000, which proved to be so successful and popular with audiences that it also returned the following year in July. Ramsay has been in the film and television industry for 36 years and is an Auckland Park resident.

“I initially grew up having a keen interest in ballet and Spanish dancing which led to my passion for theatre. In 1979 I graduated from UCT with a diploma in theatre and performance with the intention of focusing on theatre. I’ve written a number of plays throughout the years. One of the most recent plays I wrote is called If We Dig and will be shown at the Market Theatre in August,” said Ramsay and added that in this production, she’s also broadened the scope of the poet and issues they deal with.

The play deals with acts of violence and what entices it. Set around poetry, she would like the play to spark topics and also hope to have a dialogue every night after the production.

Recently appointed as a lecturer in the Theatre and Performance division of the Wits School of the Arts, she added that this version of Hallelujah has an extended cast. Ramsay asked students what challenges they face as aspirant artists and discovered that they also experience similar challenges as other artists did, 16 years ago.

She describes herself as a curious being, who wants to achieve more, has a lot of energy and enjoys giving back by helping artists master their crafts. Ramsay’s expertise stretches both locally and across the board from actors who also seek out her knowledge. She has worked with the likes of Keanu Reeves, Idris Alba, Trevor Noah, Kenny Kunene, Jennifer Hudson, Tim Robbins and many others.

Hallelujah will take place at the Wits East Campus from 24 May until 28 May. For more information visit webticket


Naledi Mokoena

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