It’s difficult not to instantly fall in love with the vibrant colours, bright personalities and gorgeous voices of the Soweto Gospel Choir. An incredibly talented group of phenomenal singers, their newest show is bigger, brighter and even more beautiful than before.
The show is a glorious dedication to the struggles faced by the African population of South Africa during Apartheid and the inspiration and leadership of Mandela. The songs are sung in a variety of the 11 official languages of South Africa, which means many of them aren’t in English, but you don’t need to understand the words to understand the emotion behind them. It is clear that every single member of the choir is pouring their heart into the songs, and more than one of them sheds a tear during the show. They aren’t the only ones; it is so moving, and so powerful, that many members of the audience are equally as emotional.
There are wonderful upbeat numbers that are accompanied by clapping, whistling and traditional South African dancing, and filled with powerful solos that showcase the sensational vocals of every single choir member. Few numbers feature any instrumentals that aren’t percussive; their acapella is flawless and their timing impeccable. Sipho, the choir member who plays the traditional African drums that accompany most of the songs, is absolutely exceptional; he deserves an accolade of his own.
Stunning renditions of Amazing Grace and Halleluia are, in my opinion, the pinnacle of the show, and it comes to a triumphant end with a fully deserved standing ovation. This is a show overflowing with love, elation, heartache and triumph, and it is an absolute joy to watch.
Soweto Gospel Choir is on at 14:30 at Assembly Hall until August 26th. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the EdFringe website.