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The Centre for the Creative Arts in the School of Arts at the University of Kwazulu-Natal welcomes the inaugural Cabaret And Beyond Festival to our bouquet of already well-established festivals. Whilst the Centre prides itself on the artistic excellence that characterises each of our festivals we also place equal value on how each of these festivals can contribute to the growth of a diverse learning community where skills-sharing along with new knowledge and practices are constantly developed. As with all our festivals we are confident that the Cabaret And Music Festival will play its vital role in humanizing our society, address key social issues through the art form and most importantly, create a stream of income for the participating artists. Together with the Mandela Bay Theatre Complex we look forward to the creative team taking us on to new adventures.


The Cabaret and Beyond Festival (CAB), organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in partnership with Mandela Bay Theatre Complex, recognises a top-heavy musical theatre industry in South Africa. The initiative surpassed all expectations highlighting nearly 20 local musical theatre composers’ original songs during its inaugural year, and once again calls for creatives to apply for a three-month writing collective and mentorship. After the three months programme, the CCA will select some of the works for the CAB Festival Showcase held in 2023.

Check back regularly or follow the CCA Facebook Page for more information about this inaugural showcase event.

Meet the festival director

Ismail Mahomed

Ismail Mahomed is a multiple-award cultural leader. With more than 35-years of experience in cultural leadership his previous roles include serving as the Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival and as CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation. He serves on the boards of several cultural organisations offering his expertise in cultural innovation, governance and arts leadership. As the Director of the Centre for the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal he provides visionary leadership to the Centre and oversees the strategic direction of the Centre’s festivals ensuring that the festivals remain dynamic platforms that serve the University’s mandates as well as those of the University’s external stakeholder community.


Siphindile Hlongwa


Music is the country’s soul, and the one who listens should connect, enjoy, question, and embrace the power within. Music has no boundaries; it serves as a uniting force; it interprets, communicates, and archives the country’s history. I am a lover of music and values its contribution to the social conscious movement; as we explore and reignite the power of musical theatre, we hope we continue to develop and uplift our country and pave the way for future generations. Let the soul speak!

MEET OUR Partner

Monde Ngonyama

Of the Mandela Bay Theatre Complex

As the Mandela Bay Theatre Complex, we see ourselves as the leading producer of excellence and job creation for performing arts for Eastern Cape. This we can only achieve with partnerships that would add value to the entire arts sector. The old trick for arts to live long is adding many ingredients in a performance to attract and reach out to many audiences, and this is appropriately served through musical theatre. It would be a self-defeating shortcoming to assume that being in the Eastern Cape we are no more in South Africa, SADC, Africa and the world. That consciousness compels us to seek strategic and reputable partners in positioning excellence in the performing arts. Our partnership with UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts in producing the CAB Festival, the first of its kind in our country, has both an artist and audiences in mind. We can only grow from here.

A message from the curator

Roland Perold

It is my pleasure to serve as curator for the inaugural CAB Festival. Music theatre has been a life-long passion and provided exciting career opportunities, as it does for many fellow artists and practitioners in the industry. With a dearth of training, development and mentorship programs for local writers and composers, the CCA has taken up the charge to address the status quo which has resulted in South Africa becoming, largely, a receiving house for Mega-Musical imports. Our vision with “Cabaret and Beyond” is to work on an intimate scale allowing new writers the opportunity to tell their own stories in a sustainable way; both serving and cultivating an audience for new works. Works that display artistic excellence and have broad entertainment value. We look forward to meeting our audiences (safely) and sharing these works as the various stages of the project unfold.

Our generous partners & sponsers