Dante & Mashudu – Bridges Italy and South Africa

Following the 700th anniversary of the death of the supreme Italian poet Dante Alighieri celebrated in 2021, the new play “Dante & Mashudu” will be staged in South Africa. The project, promoted by the Embassy of Italy in Pretoria, the Consulate General of Italy in Johannesburg, the Consulate of Italy in Cape Town, the Italian Cultural Institute in Pretoria and the Dante Alighieri Societies in South Africa, in collaboration with UJ Arts and Culture, was born from the idea of creating a theatrical show that acts as a cultural bridge between Italy and South Africa.

The writer of the script, Chariklia Martalas, in collaboration with the WITS University and the Dante Alighieri Society in Johannesburg, reimagined Dante’s journey in the afterlife – described in the Divine Comedy –  but with South African characters. The Johannesburg School of Mask and Movement Theatre put it on stage thanks to an extraordinary and young cast composed by Daniel Buckland, Lerato Sefoloshe, Walter Goqo, Tebogo Machaba, Campbell Meas and Aminos Jaca. In addition, the work has been made possible thanks to the director Mlindeli Zondi, the producer Nokuthula Mabuza, the designer Kyla Davis and the sound designer Yogin Sullaphen. Special thanks also go to the creator of the masks used, Roberto Pombo, and the creator of the puppets, Imile Wepener.

Dante & Mashudu is a play based on the thought that dead poets must guide living poets through the afterlife on a journey of poetic reckoning. It is now Dante’s turn to guide a poet, as Virgil once guided him, and so he comes to take her through Inferno and Purgatory. During her long journey, the protagonists meet famous South African characters, including Jan Van Riebeeck and John Dube. As the play continues, Dante becomes Mashudu’s friend showing that friendship can cross centuries and contexts because poets share their role no matter the society to which they belong. Both connected by their unwavering commitment to their own moral imagination, Dante and Mashudu create, at the same time, a link between Italian literature and South African history.

For more information, performance dates and tickets, visit the official online site of the event – Click HERE 

The show Dante & Mashudu will be held in South Africa, following the schedule below

For further information on these events, please contact Cristiana Mimmi at iicpretoria.eventi@esteri.it or 012 342 0010.