What to Expect: Johannesburg

Published on 16 June 2021

The Ecstatic

Shows take place at The Market Theatre complex, AFDA Red Roof Theatre and Wits Theatre.

The Standard Bank Presents programme can be viewed online here and all booking links are on the show page so you can book your tickets directly from there.

You can find a calendar view of the National Arts Festival Programme here

Tickets for Standard Bank Presents are on sale now.

At Wits Theatre, multi-platinum award-winning singer Lira is on the line-up as part of the Standard Bank Jazz Festival with her distinct fusion of soul and funk with elements of jazz and African music on 26 June. This will also be the day to catch the multi-award-winning, platinum-selling ‘Queen of Afro-Jazz’, Judith Sephuma on the same stage. See Judith Sephuma at 12, Lira at 3:30pm and then follow it up with Bokani Dreyer who will be performing there at 7pm. 

Three 2020 Standard Bank Young Artists are on the programme at Standard Bank Presents in Johannesburg. Jazz title holder, Sisonke Xonti is at the John Kani Theatre at The Market Theatre Complex on 4 July, 2020, Standard Bank Young Artist for Musica, Nthato Mokgata, is at the John Kani Theatre with Afro Jazz Giant Tribute, an exploration of the South African Jazz songbook on 3 July, and 2020 Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance, Lulu Mlangeni, will perform her dance performance Kganya (Light) which celebrates the transcendence of survival in the face of despair, at the Market Theatre on 30 June & 1 July at 7pm and 2 July 2021 at 6pm.  

Catch the new show from Tony Miyambo and Phala O Phala, Commission Continua is an interrogation of South Africa’s various ‘commissions’ such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, …. And asks how we can truly find the healing this country needs. Award-winning actor, Tony Miyambo plays the lead role. The show is on 30 June, 1 July & 4 July.

Another Johannesburg Standard Bank Presents work not to be missed is Van Wyk, The Story Teller of Riverlea at The Market Theatre on 2&3 July. The play explores renowned South African author Chris van Wyk’s influences as a poet, political activist, and writer paying homage to his humour, political values and storytelling abilities, all of which touched the lives of everyone who read his works. Zane Meas wrote the play and takes the part of Van Wyk. 

Benjamin Jephta performs Born Coloured: not 'Born-free'
Lira, 'Good Vibrations'

On 2&3 July, Jeremy Nedd & Impilo Mapantsula will stage The Ecstatic, a dance piece which sees six Pantsula dancers interpret the moment or pause… a break in the context of the Christian Pentecostal Church service, where the dancing body, voice and music energetically coalesce and as a result, blur the difference between ecstatic and cathartic in order to find out, and “break open” a new space that is all their own. This work is supported by Pro Helvetia and is staged at the Wits Theatre.  

More music from the Standard Bank Jazz Festival comes in the shape of SAMA Award winning South African DJ and producer Sun-EL who is joined by a stellar line-up of musicians who together will deliver a mix of melodic house and afro beats that bring South Africa to the world (27 June at Wits Theatre). Pianist, vocalist and composer Siphephelo Ndlovu’s SN Project is a series of original compositions that incorporates his South African culture with his knowledge of jazz with his startlingly clear voice on 27 June. 

Another show to diarise for the 27th June (Wits Theatre) is Benjamin Jeptha’s Born Coloured: not ‘Born-free’ in which he dissects his experience as a so-called ‘Coloured’ and creates music centred around themes important to upbringing and cultural identity.

An unmissable later addition to the programme, The Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth is an ambitious collaboration by The Brother Moves On in association with the Wits School of Arts, the Resonance String Quartet and the Vivacious Sounds Choir, led by 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, Mandla Mlangeni. This multidisciplinary, genre-bending and intergenerational collaborative endeavour brings together jazz, rock, classical and indigenous music influences. The sonic memoirs look to re-imagine the possibilities of our imagined world. The libretto by Lesego Rampolokeng features performances with sonic and multimedia expressions that invoke the spirit of the forgotten youth, and that seek to be the springboard for the production and execution of bold new ideas of reimagining spaces for creative discourse. This one is on 7 July at Wits Theatre. 

Strict COVID-19 protocols will be in place during all of our live events. Mask wearing will be essential, there will be social distancing and spaced seating as per the government regulations and there will be no interval. The venues will be thoroughly sanitized between events. 

Lira, 'Good Vibrations'
Queen of Afro-Jazz, Judith Sephuma
Bokani Dyer
Sisonke Xonti
Nthato Mokgata, 'Afro Jazz Giants Hip Hop Tribute'
Lulu, Mlangeni, 'KGANYA (LIGHT)'
Tony Miyambo and Phala O Phala, Commission Continua
Van Wyk, The Story Teller of Riverlea
The Ecstatic by Jeremy Nedd and Impilo Mapantsula
Sun-El Musician
SN Project
Benjamin Jeptha, 'Born Coloured: not Born Free'