When Swallows Cry

After premiering to critical acclaim and sold-out houses at the Market Theatre, Mike van Graan’s WHEN SWALLOWS CRY will be part of the Baxter Theatre’s 2018 opening season of high quality productions.

When Swallows Cry is a hard-hitting trilogy of playlets that explores the inequities and layered complexities of contemporary global mobility, particularly from African perspectives. Once forced to “migrate” as slaves, Africans are now among the world’s least attractive migrants in the wealthy economies of the world, many built – not insubstantially – on African labour and mineral resources.

The play interweaves three scenarios, set in African or about African migrants and refugees.  Directed by Lesedi Job, the talented cast comprises Mbulelo Grootboom, Marty Kintu and Kai Luke Brummer, all of whom are challenged to play three contrasting characters in the three interspliced stories.

Job, a recipient of the Sophie Mgcina Emerging Voice Award, made her directorial debut with When Swallows Cry at the Market Theatre in 2017. Cape Town audiences will remember her from Lara Foot’s Fishers of Hope, for which she received a Naledi Theatre Award nomination. She returns to direct this independent production made possible by the Baxter Theatre Centre and a number of “Angels” who support Van Graan’s work.

This play comes at a time when the theme of migration and refugees has taken on huge political importance globally. It is against this background that Ibsen International, a Norwegian Theatre Company, commissioned Van Graan and seven other playwrights from around the world to produce new works on this theme. Over a period of nine months during 2015/16, these playwrights (three from Europe, two Chinese, an American, a Russian and Van Graan) met in three Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou) for a week at a time, to develop their scripts with dramaturges from Norway, Italy and Slovenia, with Chinese actors and finally with directors from Hong Kong, Germany and Norway in this unique international project.  Developed as part of ‘New Text-New Stage II’, an Ibsen International project for the development of new writing

When Swallows Cry opens at the Flipside Theatre on 1 February. Tickets for the first week, 31 January (preview) to 8 February are R80 for all shows and are available through Webtickets.

31 Jan - 24 Feb

Starts: 8:00 pm

Additional Performances:
3 Feb - 5:00 pm
10 Feb - 5:00 pm
17 Feb - 5:00 pm

Drama / Flipside

When Swallows Cry is a powerful trilogy on the international theme of migration and refugees, particularly as it relates to Africans.