‘A potency that knocks the breath from your body. It could hardly be a better memorial to those victims of fate that has for so long been widely ignored. It’s unforgettable.’ ***** The Times
29 June, 2018 - 14 July, 2018
A Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Isango Ensemble co-production co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, Repons Foundation and Nuffield Southampton Theatres.
The world première of
Based on a book by Fred Khumalo
Adapted by Isango Ensemble and Gbolahan Obisesan
Post-show Q&A: 9 Jul
BSL & Audio Described: 14 Jul 14:30
Running Time: Approx 1hr 30mins (No Interval)
Recommended age: 12+
Most had never seen the sea, many couldn’t swim, few returned.
January 1917, 823 South African men board the SS Mendi in Cape Town, volunteers for the British Army bound for the Western Front.
Heavy pre-dawn fog shrouds the impending disaster. The collision comes with such force that the SS Mendi sinks in minutes. By the time rescue arrives, it is too late for most.
Dubbed the ‘Black Titanic’, the sinking of SS Mendi was one of the worst maritime disasters in the 20th Century in Southampton waters. Yet, a startling story of hope and courage emerges. Brought to life with live music by the critically acclaimed Cape Town based Isango Ensemble and part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s Arts Programme for the First World War Centenary.
SS Mendi is a powerful and moving celebration of life at the moment of death. A group of men who start out on their journey as individuals, small groups from different tribes, with conflicting cultures and worldviews, become united into a group of brothers who dance the death drill as the boat goes down.
“Knocks the breath from your body”
"Like nothing I have seen before”
“a powerful emotional story… a show and a story that deserves greater exposure”
Pocket Sized Theatre
“An otherworldly requiem”
Tickets starting at: £27, £22, £17, £10
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Student tickets - £10