Tin Bucket Drum

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More About This Title Tin Bucket Drum


On a ‘cold and starless night’ a young pregnant widow, Nandi, arrives in Tin Town, a bleak, drought-stricken place ruled by silence and fear. Little do the inhabitants know that Nandi is carrying the baby who will, in time, change all that. Taken in by Umkhulu (grandfather), whose father established the tin bucket factory that gave the town its name, Nandi gives birth to Nomvula, the Little Drummer Girl. Umkhulu remembers a past when ‘people were free to sing and dance’, when the rain came and the townsfolk held up their tin buckets to catch the precious, life-giving drops. And then came the Silent Sir and his spokesman, the Censor, and the town went silent. As the singing and dancing and drumming dried up, so did the rain. The tin bucket factory closed, taking with it the life and purpose of Tin Town’s inhabitants. Only the Little Drummer Girl can bring back that life, but at enormous personal cost.


Neil Coppen is an award-winning playwright who lives in the citites of Durban and Johannesburg where he works as a writer, director and designer. He won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Drama in 2011.