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A Man of Good Hope

  • ASB Waterfront Theatre Cnr Halsey and Madden Sts Wynyard Quarter, Auckland (map)


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

14 -18 March 2019
ASB Waterfront Theatre

Journey to the heart of Africa and be uplifted by this extraordinary true story, brought to life by the most irresistible music.

Exclusive to Auckland Arts Festival 2019, after playing to audiences across Africa, the UK and Europe as well as triumphant seasons in New York and London, A Man of Good Hope is an epic large-scale theatre production with 22 performers who tell, sing and dance the remarkable true story of Asad, an eight-year-old who must escape the ravages of civil war in his home of Somalia.

A Man of Good Hope is storytelling at its most potent. It follows the two-steps-forward-one-step-back of a young man who is repeatedly thwarted as he tries to build a life for himself. After a series of set-backs, Asad learns to rely on his own street-smarts and knack for business. He hustles his way from a refugee camp to the shantytowns of Ethiopia, and ultimately sets his sights on the bright lights of South Africa. But the tough reality of the promised land sends this resilient hero on a whole new, perilous adventure.

Energised by the joyous sounds and swagger of acclaimed South African company, Isango Ensemble, A Man of Good Hope is a gripping piece of musical theatre set within the most urgent humanitarian crisis facing the world today. It is a powerful and hopeful odyssey of forced migration, stunningly bought to the stage by an electrifying cast of performers.

Isango Ensemble is an award-winning South African theatre company. A collection of both classically trained and untrained singers and performers, coming predominantly from the townships surrounding Cape Town, Isango’s stage productions and films often draw on classic stories of the western canon. Since premiering in London in 2016, audiences’ responses to A Man of Good Hope have been overwhelming, celebrating it for its power and resonance.

A Man of Good Hope is a stage adaptation of Jonny Steinberg’s 2015 thrilling book of the same name. A South African writer, Steinberg has a string of awards to his name, and is feted for his stories of everyday South Africans caught in the turmoil of a country’s transition to democracy.

A Man of Good Hope is one of the headlining productions of the 2019 Auckland Arts Festival. It plays 14 to 18 March 2019 at ASB Waterfront Theatre in Wynyard Quarter.

Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

The full AAF 2019 programme is here.

A Man of Good Hope at the Young Vic © Keith Pattison 002.jpg

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

– Daily Mail (UK)


Isango Ensemble / Young Vic
Based on the book by Jonny Steinberg
Directed by Mark Dornford-May
Presented by Auckland Arts Festival by arrangement with Arts Projects Australia


★★★★★ “Bursting with life, this is a full-blooded hymn to hope.” Daily Mail (UK)

★★★★ “Isango Ensemble’s musical has marvellous songs and breathtaking acting” The Observer (UK)

★★★★ “A terrific slice of musical theatre – this fiercely topical show is a real treat” Mail on Sunday (UK)

★★★★ "Glorious, vibrant musical theatre that speaks to the biggest concern of our age" Financial Times (UK)

★★★★ “An extraordinary, magical piece of theatre – all politicians should go” The Times (UK)

★★★★ "Exhilarating and inspired – I urge everyone to see this show" The Guardian (UK)

★★★★ "Heartbreaking, with dynamic choreography and beautiful music" Time Out (UK)

★★★★ "A gorgeous score that bubbles with life - profoundly stirring" The Independent (UK)

★★★★ "Powerful and vivid, Asad's story unfolds in joyous ensemble singing" Evening Standard (UK)

Earlier Event: 14 March
By Heart
Later Event: 15 March