About the Show
Soweto Gospel Choir was formed in September 2002 to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of South African Gospel music. Drawing on the very best talent from around Soweto, the choir has come from the humblest of beginnings to become an internationally renowned music phenomenon, winning many coveted international awards, including three prestigious Grammy® Awards, a 2009 ‘Best Song’ Oscar nomination and a 2010 Emmy.
Mark Baldwin OBE’s stunning choreography unites Zulu traditions with classical ballet and contemporary dance, performed by an exceptional company of 25 dancers, singers and musicians. Baldwin, who headed Ballet Rambert for 15 years, was subsequently awarded an OBE for Services to Dance.
INALA’s original score was composed in a glorious collaboration by four-times Grammy® Award winning legends, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, its leader Joseph Shabalala, and the British composer Ella Spira, blending the intricate rhythms and infectious harmonies of South African choral musical roots with live percussion, piano and strings. The music for INALA was recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios and was Grammy® Award nominated in 2016 for Best World Music Album.
It is five years since the ground-breaking phenomenon that is INALA was first performed at the Edinburgh International Festival. An instant sell-out hit, INALA, meaning ‘abundance of goodwill’ in Zulu, went on to sell out at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, as well as around the UK on an acclaimed national tour. The cast were subsequently invited to take part in the 2014 Royal Variety Performance and the show was broadcast internationally and seen by more than 7 million viewers around the world. Shortly after, INALA received its international premiere at the prestigious Chekhov festival in Moscow, enjoying a second sell out tour there in 2015. Following it’s 2019 West End debut at The Peacok Theatre in London, and it's Asia premiere at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, the show will tour China at the end of the year.
INALA is presented by SISTERS GRIMM, the ground-breaking British theatre producers of culturally themed dance musicals, who's second major production following INALA; VOICES OF THE AMAZON narrated by Jeremy Irons, won the Brazilian International Press Award when it premiered in 2017.
INALA would like to thank the following organisations for their generous support for the original launch of INALA in 2014:
We are extremely grateful to the benefactors who donated the initial seed money to get Inala started:
Michael Carpenter, Chris von Christierson, Peter Lloyd, Tawfiq Ahmed Sultan, Bonnie Ward, Rupert Atkin, Jane Clouting, Jan Stodieck, Celeste Fenichel and Talbot Underwriting
We would also like to thank ATG, Howard Panter OBE, Rosemary Squire CBE, Peter Gallo, Nick Panitza, Olof Winkler, Isla and Roderick Smith, Philip Lawford, The Linbury Trust, Debs Butler and The Arts Council England.
The development would not have been possible without the much-valued support of KwaZulu-Natal Tourism, South African Tourism and Norma Meyer and Steve Bailey at Ecco Tours.
We further acknowledge the kind support of Dame Monica Mason DBE and Charlotte Burke.