Woza Albert! is based on one dazzlingly simple idea - that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ should take place in present-day South Africa. This brilliant two-man show from the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, took the Edinburgh Festival then London by storm in September 1982, playing to standing ovations every night. It was also seen in Berlin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia and twice on BBC TV. 'A satire played with devastating energy in a brilliantly witty staging.' Guardian 'The most politically potent show ever staged in South Africa.' Observer This edition contains a new introduction by Yvette Hutchison
Percy Mtwa was born and bred in Wattville, Benoni. In 1979 director Gibson Kente gave him a role as singer/dancer in Mama and the Load, which played at the Market and Baxter Theatres and toured South Africa. Mbongeni Ngema was born in Umkumbane, Durban. He wrote and presented a play, Too Harsh, appeared in Kessie Govender's Working Class Hero, then wrote and, with Kessie's help, directed The Last Generation. In 1979 he came to Johannesburg and approached Gibson Kente for work, finally getting a character role in Mama and the Load, where he met Percy Mtwa. Barney Simon, founding Artistic Director of the Market Theatre, was born in Johannesburg. After backstaging for Joan Littlewood in the late 1950s, he joined Athol Fugard in Johannesburg's Dorkay House Rehearsal Room where The Blood Knot was first staged. He directed Fugard in Krapp's Last Tape and the first production of Fugard's own Hello and Goodbye. In 1974 he founded the Company with Mannie Manim, which made its home in Johannesburg's old Market in 1976. He was the three-time winner of the Breytenbach Epathlon for best director. Barney Simon died in 1995.