Zakes Mada’s acclaimed First Novel, Ways of Dying, To Be Staged At The Baxter With Stellar Creative Team For Limited Season 10 – 14 November

Zakes Mda’s acclaimed first novel, Ways of Dying, will be presented by the Baxter Theatre Centre and UCT’s Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies (CTDPS), at the Baxter Flipside for six performances only, from 10 to 14 November at 7pm, with a Saturday matinee at 3pm, on 14 November.

Front Bokang Ntsutle, Middle Anathi Godlo, Tebatso Molapo, Back Liam Walsh in Ways of Dying

Adapted and directed by Lara Foot, who directed the work 20 years ago at The Market Theatre, the cast is made up of 14 fourth-year students from the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies (CTDPS).

The formidable award-winning creative team comprises Mdu Kweyama (direction and choreography), Bongile Mantsai (direction and music) with set design by Patrick Curtis, lighting design by Mannie Manim and costume design by Leigh Bishop.

All performances will be limited to fifty percent capacity, with all COVID-19 protocols observed as regulated at Level 1 lockdown restrictions. These include the availability of hand sanitisers, tracking and tracing recorded, wearing of masks, physical distancing and audience members are advised to arrive an hour before the start of the performance to avoid delays.

“The CTDPS is thrilled to be collaborating with The Baxter on our final fourth-year production,” says Sara Matchet, head of CTDPS. “2020 has proved to be exceptionally challenging in terms of teaching in the Performing and Creative Arts departments at UCT. The loss of face-to-face contact teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our programmes enormously.”

She continues, “The collaboration with The Baxter and with Lara Foot as director, promises to offer our graduating Acting students an experience that will make up for what has been lost. And a theatrical treat for local audiences to experience this work and creatives involved.”

The cast comprises Liam Walsh, Tamzin Williams, Megan Tromp, Francis Sholto-Douglas, Klara Schoonraad, Emma-Jane Pieters, Bokang Ntsutle, Basetsana Motloung, Tshiamo Moretlwe, Tebatso Molapo, Cullum McCormack, Brett Ilsley, Anathi Godlo and Sam Alexander.

Front Tebatso Molapo, Middle Emma-Jane Pieters, Basetsana Motloung, Back Liam Walsh in Ways of Dying, pic by Rob Keith

The story follows Toloki an eccentric and dignified professional mourner, who meets his childhood friend Noria, at her son’s funeral. They fall in love and move in together, each one teaching the other how to heal and live.

Ways of Dying is the 1995 novel by South African novelist, poet and playwright, Zakes Mda who has won a several major South African and international literary awards for his work. The book received the M-Net Book prize, and it was shortlisted for the Central News Agency (CNA) Award and a Noma Award. Some of his other works include The Heart of Redness, Our Lady of Benoni and The Zulus of New York.

The Mail and Guardian described the book Ways of Dying as “… a moving and startingly original novel …” and veteran writer Sindiwe Magona said, “A flawless, intricate, seamless weave, with magic and mystery … Mda is a master storyteller”.

With only six performances from 10 to 14 November at 7pm and a matinee on 14 November at 3pm, ticket prices for Ways of Dying are R75 and R50 for students. Booking is through Webtickets on 086 111 0005, online at or at Pick n Pay stores. For discounted school or group block bookings, fundraisers or charities, contact Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or e-mail her at

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: Instagram: IMDb: