Sophiatown is a lively and memorable drama with music that is being revived with a full band and a new, young cast under the experienced eye of award-winning director Aubrey Sekhabi.

It is set to delight today’s audiences with its timeless music. This play, based on the life history of Sophiatown, opened at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg in February 1986 to great acclaim. It now returns in 2024 for a limited season.

The play’s story centres on the arrival of a Jewish girl who responds to an advertisement in 'Drum' magazine to come and stay in Mamariti’s Sophiatown shebeen. The play deals with the dynamics of this household which are representative of the Sophiatown community of the 1950s as a whole.

Sophiatown came to be known as the ‘Chicago of South Africa’, and a place where shebeen queens, gangsters, politicians and black and white ‘Bohemians’ rubbed shoulders and traded drinks in a heady atmosphere fizzing with music, style, and rebellion.

This vibrant community produced some of South Africa’s most famous musicians, artists, writers, journalists, and politicians as urban African culture formed here during the repressive 1940s and 1950s.

Date: 27 February - 24 March 2024

Time: Tues-Wed 11am | Thurs 11am & 7pm | Fri 3pm & 7pm | Sat 3pm

Price: R100-R250

Venue address: Market Theatre, 138 Lillian Ngoyi, Newtown, Johannesburg

Wheelchair accessibility: Yes

Accessibility details: The venue has limited wheelchair spaces and a wheelchair accessible bathroom.


Tel: 011 832 1641