Programme Details

Isango Ensemble
A Man of Good Hope

An African epic telling the up-lifting story of one man’s incredible journey  

“Bursting with life, warts and all, this is a full-blooded hymn to that most fragile of human qualities: hope.” ★★★★★ Daily Mail  

“A powerful testament to the resilience of humanity” ★★★★ The Guardian  

“Burns bright with humanity and hope. A brilliantly vibrant evening.” What's On Stage



Asad is a young Somalian refugee with a painful past, a brilliant head for business and miraculously good luck. After years in a refugee camp, then learning to hustle on the streets of Ethiopia, he sets off for the promised land of South Africa. But dreams and reality are very different. Once he has arrived in the townships, his adventures really begin.

Based on interviews with the real-life Asad Abdullahi, Jonny Steinberg’s 2015 book, A Man of Good Hope is much more than the simple biography of a lonely young migrant who longs for a decent life. This is truly exhilarating theatre, bursting with life, a full-blooded hymn to that most fragile of human qualities: hope. Part play, part opera and part musical, Asad’s story unfolds with joyous ensemble singing and roof-raising marimba, djembe drum and percussion sound. A 25-strong company delivers the story with incredible dynamism, delight and irresistible South African style.

A Man of Good Hope is a co-production between London’s powerhouse Young Vic Theatre and internationally acclaimed Cape Town-based Isango Ensemble together with Royal Opera, Répons Foundation, BAM and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. Isango founded in 2000 by Mark Dornford-May and Pauline Malefane and drawing its performers from the previously disadvantaged townships surrounding the city, creates performances with a strong South African flavour by re-imagining Western theatre classics within a South African setting and by creating new work reflecting South African heritage. Isango has won international fame for its adaptations of The Mysteries and classic operas such as the Golden Bear-winning feature film uCarmen eKhayelitsha and Olivier Award-winning The Magic Flute (Impempe Yomlingo), in a contemporary South African township setting.



Based on the book by 
Jonny Steinberg 

Directed by 
Mark Dornford-May

Music composed by 
Mandisi Dyantyis with the Ensemble

Movement by 
Lungelo Ngamlana

Lighting by 
Mannie Manim



Approx 2 hrs and 30 mins incl one interval
Performed in English with English lyrics and Chinese surtitles
Recommended for ages 12 and above


Official website of Isango Ensemble


Photo credit
Keith Pattison



    24 - 25 / 2 / 2018  14:30
    23 - 24 / 2 / 2018  19:30 



    Lyric Theatre, HKAPA


    Pre-show in-school workshop (conducted in Cantonese) is available for this programme. 
    (Applicable to School Members)