Get Your Year off to a Thumping Start with Drumstruck at Silvermist

Cape Town

It is rare for any theatre show to run for more than a few weeks in South Africa, let alone twice daily to full houses and consistent five star, rave reviews. But then again, Drumstruck is not just any theatre show. Billed as the most authentic and interactive African experience in Cape Town, Drumstruck, which has been running in Cape Town since last October, has been captivating audiences (or rather, participants) with its unique South African symphony of music, food and wine.

Drumstruck is the brainchild of entrepreneur Warren Lieberman, whose name has become synonymous with African drumming since his establishment of the Drum Café in 1995. What started as a series of weekly jam sessions at his home, quickly expanded to become a tool for corporates to bring together their diverse and divided employees in post-Apartheid South Africa. Lieberman explains that music is a universal language and that drumming together is a unifying activity that breaks down barriers of age, religion, race and gender. “The methods used by Drum Café are so effective because business, like music, requires communication and teamwork. When people drum together, they feel like they are part of something bigger, but still have a crucial individual role to play,” says Lieberman.

Then, in 2002, Lieberman partnered with creative director Kathy-Jo Ross, to develop Drumstruck, a fully interactive theatre experience that would enable the pair to bring the joyful, transformative process of communal drumming to audiences across the world. Over the past 20 years, Drumstruck has won over global audiences with its exhilarating presentation of African beats and explosive energy. The show has toured across the globe, including an 18-month stint Off-Broadway in New York, Australia, South Korea, Dollywood in the USA (where Dolly Parton joined the group on stage), and a 10-year run in Japan.

After Covid, Lieberman decided to bring the show back to South African soil to give people a way to connect and celebrate together after months of isolation. The show was launched last summer at the Silvermist Organic Wine estate, a magnificent venue (home to the famous La Colombe restaurant) with expansive views over the Twelve Apostles. It is now running for its second successive season and has evolved to become an immersive South African experience that includes a wine tasting and a braai.

“Our entire experience, from the moment guests arrive to the moment they leave, is designed to create a sense of South Africa that is undeniably genuine, joyful and uplifting. We greet our guests like old friends, and in the spirit of ‘ubuntu’, we create a shared experience that is intimate and unique,” explains Lieberman. On arrival, guests are welcomed and seated outdoors at tables on the expansive lawns of the gorgeous estate. They are treated to a 45-minute wine tasting that is presented by charismatic Silvermist winemaker and owner, Gregory Brink Louw, while kids (and those who prefer) are offered a selection of delicious farm-brewed iced teas to taste. The wine tasting in itself is a South African treat, and includes the presentation of four wines from across the Constantia Valley, including two of Silvermist’s organic wines (guaranteed not to give a hangover!) and interspersed with a taste of African performance and dance.

Guests are then led into a specially curated theatre space, which houses an extraordinary selection of traditional African instruments, and which accommodates a maximum of 80 audience members. The show is facilitated by some of South Africa’s top percussionists and performers, Mpho Rasenyalo, Tumelo Seleke and Zama Qambi, who are no strangers to the global music world and have shared the stage with the likes of Shakira, Will I Am, K’naan, and 30 Seconds to Mars and performed for top CEOs and world leaders including Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and George Bush.

The first half of the show takes audiences on a musical journey which can only be described as the most entertaining history lesson imaginable – as the talented Drumstruck cast introduces an assortment of rare and ancient musical instruments and drums through storytelling, song and dance. Halfway through the show, participants are all given their own djembe drums to play, and through a series of interactive ‘lessons’, very quickly find themselves cheerfully banging out rhythms and joining in with the cast. For those with two left feet (or rather two left hands), fear not, the expert facilitation of the Drumstruck crew keeps everyone unashamedly involved and in stitches of laughter! The show has universal appeal, and offers a rare opportunity for the whole family, from the very youngest to the very oldest, to get stuck in and have some fun together.

After the show, there is a fabulous 3-meat braai on offer (to be pre-ordered as an optional extra with ticket purchases), and guests are entertained by a world-class marimba band while they eat, drink, and take in the exquisite views. The Drumstruck experience has been a hit with groups, schools and corporates – you only need to glance at their glowing reviews online see this – and is the ideal way to start the new year with a bang!

For further information please visit www.drumstruck.com

Dates & times: The show runs most days from Wednesday to Sunday, twice daily at 11am and 5pm until the end of April 2024

Duration: 110 minutes (50 min wine tasting, 60 min drum show) plus an additional 90 minutes for those who stay for the braai.

Costs:

SA Local Rates: R350 (Adult wine tasting & show); R200 (Kids U12); R275: (Adult, show only)

Standard Rates: R450 (Adult wine tasting & show); R250 (Kids U12); R300: (Adult, show only)

Braai (Optional – includes 3 meats, sides and dessert): R300