Music theatre about a forgotten colonial history

The Head &
The Load

Opening Holland Festival 2019

William Kentridge, Philip Miller, Thuthuka Sibisi, Gregory Maqoma

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William Kentridge’s latest production, which takes its title from the Ghanaian proverb ‘the head and the load are the troubles of the neck,’ opens the 2019 Holland Festival with a grand spectacle. The work, featuring music by long-time collaborator Phillip Miller with Thuthuka Sibisi and choreography by Gregory Maqoma, illuminates the plight of the nearly two million African porters and carriers used by the British, French, and Germans who bore the brunt of the casualties during the First World War in Africa – a tragic story of immense historical significance that has remained largely untold. Kentridge’s unique vision brings together an international ensemble cast of musicians, singers, dancers, and performers alongside film projections and shadow play to create a landscape of extraordinary proportion and imagination that unfolds across a 50-meter wide stage.

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