Isango Ensemble's

A Man of
Good Hope

October 4 - 13, 2019

CST's Courtyard Theater

A WorldStage production from South Africa
in co-production with the Young Vic
and in association with the Royal Opera, Repons Foundation, X and Y
based on the book by Jonny Steinberg
directed by Mark Dornford-May

★★★★★ Bursting with life, this is a full-blooded hymn to hope.


Marvellous songs and breathtaking acting... Isango Ensemble is a marvel.


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Following unanimous acclaim in New York, London, and countless other cities across the world, this magnificent music-driven production—based on the book by Jonny Steinberg—tells the true coming-of-age story of Asad Abdullahi, a young Somali refugee who fled his country’s civil war, only to find himself in a new violent reality in South Africa. Chronicling one man’s life as it crisscrosses some of the world’s most charged contemporary issues—human trafficking, migration, poverty and xenophobia—this modern African odyssey, leavened by humor, is rich with fresh insights into resilience and survival. Olivier Award-winning, Cape Town-based Isango Ensemble’s performances thrill with their raw honesty and power, but it is the production’s glorious, incomparable music (part opera, part musical) that will make your pulse race and your heart swell.



Gallery: A Man of Good Hope


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Critical Acclaim

UK's Evening Standard hails, “Powerful and vivid, Asad's story unfolds in joyous ensemble singing.”
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About the Company

Isango Ensemble was formed in Cape Town in 2000, drawing its performers from the disadvantaged townships surrounding the city.
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The Players

Creative Team

Mark Dornford-May Director

Mandisi Dyantyis Music Director

Lungelo Ngamlana Choreographer

Manuel Manim Lighting Designer

Lesley Nott Manim Speech and Dialogue Coach

Andreas Ayling Co-production Manager

Jack Hathaway Relighter

Maris Sharp Company Manager

Sandile Mgugunyeka Co-production Manager

Valencia Mgugunyeka Stage Manager

Doreen Nondibano Hintsho Chaperone


Mandisi Dyantyis Jonny

Thobile Jim Dyasi Company

Nombongo Fatyi Company

Thandokazi Fumba Company

Zamile Gantana Rooda

Siphosethu Hintsho Asad as a boy

Nontsusa Louw Yindy / Death

Zimkhitha Mathomane Company

Zanele Mbatha Asad’s mother

Sinethemba Mdena Madoda

Zoleka Mpotsha Yindy / Death

Thandolwethu Mzembe Asad II

Siyanda Ncobo Company

Sonwabo Ntshata Company

Melikhaya Ntshuntshe Visa Clerk, etc.

Cikizwa Rolomana Foosiya

Masakana Sotayisi Company

Luvo Tamba SA Man

Ayanda Tikolo Asad I

Philani Xhaga SA Man

Additional Pages