Comfort Ye depicts a day in the life of one of South Africa’s countless “previously disadvantaged communities”, more commonly known as townships or informal settlements. The narrative draws together stories written by young members of the Bloekombos Secondary School choir.
Their narratives tell of love, loss, pursuit, murder, abuse, families torn apart. These are, sadly, not unusual stories in their community. They pose the question: In times of despair, where can you find hope? International music organisation Umculo became aware of these stories in the course of a four-year collaboration with the choir, and conceived the idea of creating a work of music theatre around them. In part, the goal was to reflect reality, to confront audiences through a new, strong performance piece. But the aim was also to give the young people the chance to express themselves, to sing and act their own stories as a way of coming to terms with their experiences, and to help them move towards a better future.