Preview: Tony award-winning musical, Once On This Island, presented by Wela Kapela Productions, with vibrant Eastern Cape cast, at the Baxter Flipside July 8-16, 2022

Once On This Island- Tony-award-winning musical- by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty

When: July 8-16, 2022 at 7pm with two matinees – 2pm on Saturdays- July 9 and 16
Where: Baxter Flipside
Tickets: R180 and R140 for block bookings (10 or more), students and seniors
Direct booking link: – clicks through to Webtickets or book, in person, at Pick n Pay stores
Featuring: A cast of 14 and 6-piece live band. Scroll down for production credits

Wela Kapela Productions from East London is presenting, The Tony-award-winning musical, Once On This Island, at the Baxter’s Flipside, from July 8-16, 2022.  Wela Kapela Productions, nabbed two Standard Bank Ovation Awards for two of its cabarets (Eva Cassidy and Vincent) at the recent National Arts Festival (NAF) in Makhanda. Daniel Anderson who performed in Vincent and Kerry Hiles who starred in Eva Cassidy, are both in Once On This Island. See these award winning artists, at the Baxter, in Once On This Island. Info as supplied:

Tony award-winning musical, Once On This Island, by Wela Kapela Productions, at the Baxter Flipside from July 8-16, 2022

The Tony-award-winning musical, Once On This Island, by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, based on a Caribbean interpretation of Hans Christian Anderson’s, The Little Mermaid, comes to the Baxter Flipside for a short season from July 8-16 2022 at 7pm with matinees, on Saturdays, at 2pm.

After a successful run at the Guild Theatre in East London, Wela Kapela brings a vibrant all-Eastern Cape cast to Cape Town, transporting audiences to a magical island “where rivers run deep” and where everyone is “at the mercy of the wind and the sea, praying constantly to the gods”.

Producer and director, Amanda directs the cast and live band of 14 performers with musical direction by Nathan Johannisen, choral direction by Akhona Zizipho Nkinti and choreography by Sonwa Sakuba

The hit musical, Once On This Island, follows the journey of Ti Moune, a young peasant girl who fearlessly pursues love across racial and class barriers and who finds love in a divided world, while contesting the power of death. It is a story of love, life, pain, hope, grief and faith as it holds a mirror to society and allows a safe space to reevaluate one’s own thinking.

The young orphan tragically falls in love with a rich aristocrat, but unbeknownst to her, the pompous gods who preside over the island make a bet with one another about which is stronger – love or death – and the stakes being that of her life.

On a stormy night a terrible thunder booms, making a young cry in fear. To comfort her, the villagers tell her the story of Ti Moune (performed by Bathandwa Diniso), the peasant girl who falls in love with the aristocrat, Daniel Beauxhomme (Daniel Anderson). In this story, the four gods Asaka: Mother of the Earth (Dikelo Mamiala), Agwe: God of Water (Mava Gqeba), Erzulie: Goddess of Love (Kerry Hiles), and Papa Ge: Demon of Death (Alison Hillstead) rule an island of two different worlds, two different worlds that shall never meet.

“Working on this production was invigorating, each actor had to mine his or her own creativity, working together as an ensemble, yet creating strong individual characters,” explains Bothma, the founder of Wela Kapela Productions. “There is simply nowhere to hide: all the characters are on stage all of the time, singing, dancing, telling a story within a story – really pushing the boundaries of theatre work. We have really brought the best talent – on and off stage. Be ready to be amazed by one incredible set – literally bringing a whole island to life!”

Cast member Daniel Anderson says: “Never before have I worked on such a complex and beautiful musical. This has ticked all of the boxes for sophisticated and transformational storytelling. The cast is marvelous, the music is exceptional, and the staging is the genius we always get from this team.”

The show has countless surprises, bright shweshwe fabrics and shadow puppetry. The performance includes a live band and an energetic and talented young cast. Audience members are invited to be transported to a magical island of community, love, hope and family, packed with heart and great music, making it perfect entertainment for the whole family during the school holidays.

Once On This Island runs at the Baxter Flipside from July 8-16, 2022 at 7pm. There are two matinees – 2pm on Saturdays- July 9 and 16. Tickets cost R180. Pay R140 for block bookings of 10 or more and R140 for seniors and students. Booking is through Webtickets online at or at Pick n Pay stores.

Wela Kapela’s Once On This Island – production credits  

Producer and director: Amanda Bothma
Musical director: Nathan Johannisen
Chorus director: Akhona Zizipho Nkinti
Choreographer: Sonwa Sakuba  

The cast of 14, includes:  

Bathandwa Diniso, Daniel Anderson, Dikelo Mamiala, Mava Gqeba, Kerry Hiles and Alison Hillstead  


Twitter: Wela Kapela Productions@AmandaBothma8        

#wêlakapelaproductions #WhyWeTellTheStory #thestageisourhome #theatremakers #musictheatre

Island musical: Bathandwa Diniso plays Ti Moune in the Tony award-winning musical, Once On This Island, presented by Wela Kapela Productions. The production is on at the Baxter Flipside,Cape Town, July 8-16, 2022.
Love conquers all: The Tony award-winning musical, Once On This Island, presented by Wela Kapela Productions is on at the Baxter Flipside, July 8-16, 2022.

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