Tin Bucket Drum

A Play
  • Publication Date: Nov 2016
  • Dimensions and Pages: 130 x 125mm;88 pp; Soft cover
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-86814-972-8
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-86814-973-5
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 175.00

On a ‘cold and starless night’ a young pregnant widow, Nandi, arrives in Tin Town, a bleak, drought-stricken place ruled by silence and fear. Little do the inhabitants know that Nandi is carrying the baby who will, in time, change all that.
Taken in by Umkhulu (grandfather), whose father established the tin bucket factory that gave the town its name, Nandi gives birth to Nomvula, the Little Drummer Girl. Umkhulu remembers a past when ‘people were free to sing and dance’, when the rain came and the townsfolk held up their tin buckets to catch the precious, life-giving drops. And then came the Silent Sir and his spokesman, the Censor, and the town went silent.
As the singing and dancing and drumming dried up, so did the rain. The tin bucket factory closed, taking with it the life and purpose of Tin Town’s inhabitants. Only the Little Drummer Girl can bring back that life, but at enormous personal cost.
In Tin Bucket Drum, Neil Coppen achieves a small miracle. Through his lyrical script and the creative use of lighting and sound, one woman, the Narrator, succeeds in evoking a host of characters as this allegorical tale of oppression and liberation plays itself out. It is a story that offers a host of lessons for many places and many times.

Tin Bucket Drum, has won the English Academy of Southern Africa’s Olive Schreiner Prize for Drama (2018).

Foreword by Ismail Mahomed
Tin Bucket Drum Questions with Neil Coppen
Press clippings
Selection of images from various performances
Tin Bucket Drum: the play script
Notes on staging
Scene 1: A Celebration
Scene 2: The Journey
Scene 3: Mkhulu’s Welcome
Scene 4: A Child is Born
Scene 5: Awakening
Scene 6: Sermon
Scene 7: Silent Confi nement
Scene 8: Mkhulu’s Story
Scene 9: Integration
Scene 10: Problem Child
Scene 11: Legacy
Scene 12: Rehabilitation
Scene 13: Community Service
Scene 14: Revolution
Scene 15: Lullaby
Scene 16: Rebirth

Neil Coppen is an award-winning playwright who lives between the cities of Durban and Johannesburg where he works as a writer, director and designer. He won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Drama in 2011 and was nominated on the 2011 Mail & Guardian’s 200 most influential Young South Africans. His play Abnormal Loads won the 2012 Naledi Award for Best South African Script. Other works include Tree BoySugar Daddies and Animal Farm.

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