South Africa has provided the West End with two great shows recently — The Mysteries and Umoja, both at the Queen's Theatre. Other examples in recent years have included the electrifying Kat and The Kings at the Vaudeville.
Now the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble, whose founder, Rosemary Nalden, was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours, is coming to Southwark Cathedral for a concert on July 6.
Buskaid began when Nalden heard of the plight of young musicians in South Africa, without the resources to pursue their careers. Raising funds through a nationwide busk of professional musicians at British Rail stations (a welcome relief from the boredom of waiting for the train), she used the money to create and support the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble.
This group of young musicians will be performing a mixture of Western classical music (Mozart, Purcell, Elgar) and township Kwela music (a style that had its origins in the protest songs of the 1950's).
—By Paul Webb Theatrenow