Fred Khumalo’s historical novel Dancing the Death Drill to be performed on international stage
 More about the book!

A stage adaptation of Fred Khumalo’s historical novel Dancing the Death Drill will be performed in the United Kingdom.

Internationally renowned Cape Town-based drama company Isango Ensemble are currently in rehearsals, and will perform the play at Nuffield Southampton Theatres in the UK from 29 June – 14 July 2018.

The play was commissioned by 14-18 NOW, a UK-based arts organisation set up to bring about a creative response to the centenary of World War I. Over 150 artists and organisations, working across all art forms, will take part in its programme, from March – November 2018.

The sinking of SS Mendi was one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century. In early 1917, the ship set sail from Cape Town, taking hundreds of black South African volunteers to support the Allied forces fighting in France. But early in the morning of 21 February 1917, the Mendi collided with a cargo ship in thick fog in the English Channel and sank, killing 616 South Africans and 30 of the Mendi’s crew.

SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill is set in Paris 40 years after the war, and focuses on one of the ship’s passengers: Pitso Motaung, who sailed aboard the Mendi and lived to tell the tale.

Khumalo tells a startling story of how this maritime disaster gave rise to a life of hope, courage and resilience.

Click on the link above for more about the book!

Tickets for SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill are available online at

Image: Matthys Mocke


Categories Fiction International South Africa

Tags Dancing the Death Drill Drama Fred Khumalo Penguin Random House SA

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