The titular Madam from Madam and Eve must have been the inspiration, right?
With fans like that, the popular comic strip Madam and Eve possibly has a few haters. South Africa’s unofficial favourite comic strip is set to plant a few earworms, with the announcement that creators Stephen Francis and Rico Schacherl are fundraising to have Madam and Eve – The Musical come alive.
It is being transformed into a feel-good musical to celebrate the diverse cultural heritage that makes up the rainbow nation.
“To properly fund the musical, we need your help. We have teamed up with Thundafund.com, South Africa’s leading crowd-funding cafe, to raise R2 million,” Francis says.
Though funding is a bit of a problem, the creators of the comic strip have already assembled the forces of art in South Africa (including Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa) as well as an acclaimed theatrical team to write songs, scores and working out some dazzling choreography.
“Discussions are under way with Tsogo Sun to stage the Johannesburg run at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City later this year. Another of South Africa’s most established theatres, the Port Elizabeth Opera House is enthusiastic about hosting this all South African musical,” Francis says.
Considering the last South African musical was Liefling, which drew too heavily from the formulaic plots of American romcoms, this musical could offer an original South African feel-good stage spectacle. And though Evita Bezuidenhout would be a stunning Madam, according to Francis, the team have a few well known actresses in mind for the show – “but we’re open to discovering new talent”.
And get ready for a heady mix of mixed language and culture. “South Africa has such a great culture of music and because of the broad nature of the characters, one can introduce the broad variety of musical history by giving each of the characters a theme and musical world in which to live and come alive,” says Francis.
But there is the promise of some extremely catchy tunes, considering Francis names West Side Story, Hair, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Grease and Little Shop of Horrors as a few of his favourite movie musicals. Now imagine these plots with the eclectic bunch from Madam and Eve.
Perhaps the best news is it will be a family show. And hopefully it will be a clarion call for unity.