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Cuttin' It

A Man of Good Hope

Based on the book by Jonny Steinberg
Adapted by Isango Ensemble 

6 Oct - 12 Nov

A Young Vic and Isango Ensemble Production
co-produced by The Royal Opera, Repons Foundation,
 BAM and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg

Main House

Show information

The true story of one refugee’s epic quest across Africa, brought to life with music from the world-renowned Isango Ensemble.

Asad is a young Somali refugee with a painful past, miraculously good luck and a brilliant head for business. After years in a refugee camp and then learning to hustle in the streets of Ethiopia, he sets off for the promised land of South Africa. But when he arrives, he discovers the violent reality of life in the townships - and his adventures really begin.

The critically-acclaimed South African Isango Ensemble return to the Young Vic after the Olivier Award-winning The Magic Flute. This adaptation of Jonny Steinberg’s riveting book is told through roof-lifting songs and dance accompanied on the marimba.

A collaboration with the Royal Opera House. 

“Bursting with life, this is a full-blooded hymn to hope” 

Daily Mail

“Isango Ensemble’s musical has marvellous songs and breathtaking acting”

The Observer

“A terrific slice of musical theatre - this fiercely topical show is a real treat”

Mail on Sunday 

"Glorious, vibrant musical theatre that speaks to the biggest concern of our age"

Financial Times 

“An extraordinary, magical piece of theatre – all politicians should go”

The Times 

"Exhilarating and inspired -  I urge everyone to see this show"

The Guardian  

"Heartbreaking, with dynamic choreography and beautiful music"

Time Out  

"A gorgeous score that bubbles with life - profoundly stirring"

The Independent

"Powerful and vivid, Asad's story unfolds in joyous ensemble singing"

Evening Standard


Monday - Saturday: 7.30pm

Saturday matinees: 2.30pm 
(except 8 Oct) 

We're hosting a post-show Q&A with writer, Jonny Steinberg and members of Isango Ensemble on 26 Oct. Find out more on the YV blog.

Flashing light effects, smoke and haze are used in this performance.


Tickets: £10, £20, £29, £35
Previews: (6 - 12 Oct) £10, £20

A limited number of discounts are available for each performance. Early booking is advised.


Click here to find out more about the Young Vic's seating policy, and about what to expect when you arrive at the Young Vic.

Food & drink

The Cut is one of London's most popular bars and restaurants. Specials from free-range and organic ingredients evolve with the season at the Young Vic.

Visit The Cut Bar's website.

In the press 

Isango Ensemble's Ayanda Tikolo and Mandisi Dyantyis in conversation with Rivka Jacobson of Plays to See

"It's a story in an obscure Cape Town township, but now that story is everywhere." Artistic Director David LanMark Dornford-May and members of Isango Ensemble spoke to the New York Times about the present-day parallels of Asad's journey in A Man of Good Hope 

Artistic Director David Lan speaks to London Calling about Asad's journey and 'incredible resilience' in A Man of Good Hope

Isango Ensemble's Pauline Malefane spoke with theatreVoice about performing A Man of Good Hope in London

"It is a story that the whole world needs to see" Isango Ensemble's Pauline Malefane and Mandisi Dyantyis discuss bringing Jonny Steinberg's book to life on stage with Evening Standard 

BBC World Service sat down with Isango Ensemble's Mandisi Dyantyis and Pauline Malefane to discuss why telling Asad's story is so important 

Jonny Steinberg talks to Evening Standard about the Isango Ensemble retelling his story, A Man of Good Hope, through music

Direction Mark Dornford-May
Conductor Mandisi Dyantyis
Music Direction
Mandisi Dyantyis &
Pauline Malefane

Movement Lungelo Ngamlana
Light Mannie Manim
Speech and Dialogue 
Lesley Nott Manim 
International Producer 
Claire Bejanin 


Noluthando Boqwana
Thobile Dyasi 
Ayanda Eleki
Thandokazi Fumba
Zamile Gantana
Siphosethu Juta
Nontsusa Louw
Sifiso Lupuzi
Pauline Malefane 
Phielo Makitle
Zanele Mbatha
Katlego Mmusi
Zoleka Mpotsha 
Siyanda Ncobo
Cikizwa Ndamase
Busisiwe Ngejane
Sonwabo Ntshata
Luvo Rasemeni
Khanya Sakube
Sindiswa Sityata
Tshepo Skosana
Masakane Sotayisi
Luvo Tamba
Ayanda Tikolo

Help Isango raise money for the schools of the ensemble's two youngest members. All donations welcome.

Access performances

Audio-described performance
22 Oct, 2.30pm

Captioned perfomance
3 Nov, 7.30pm

Click here to visit our Access page.

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