The book does for the documenting of original South African musical theatre what a
literature review does for the documenting of research in a given field. Smuts offers
an encyclopedic overview of the what, who, when and where of original South African
musicals, from what is commonly regarded as the first original South African musical
up until the present day.
Under the broad umbrella of “musicals” almost 200 original productions, reflecting
the wide cultural diversity of South Africa, are documented. They range across a
multitude of styles such as book musicals, musical plays, protest musicals, juke box
musicals, revues, pantomimes, cabaret and some productions in a category all of their
own. Also documented are the writers, lyricists, composers, directors, performers,
designers and producers, as well as the staging history of each production.
I salute Norman Smuts for the mammoth task it must have been to pull such a vast
and widely dispersed trove of information together, and do not doubt that it will be
read with keen interest by regular readers with an interest in South African theatre,
and also researchers of South African theatre history.
Deon Opperman, esteemed influential and prolific writer, director, actor and
ISBN: 978 0639 703 558