Monday, August 31, 2015

Mzansi Magic's latest telenovela The Road conjures up Sophiatown as a TV show set behind a TV show, with a murder mystery in two time periods.

Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) is going both high-brow and old school with its latest telenovela The Road starting tonight at 19:30 - a love story set against the backdrop of iconic Sophiatown filled with murder, mystery, politics and music.

"We hope our viewers will enjoy the authentic, sweeping love story set through an famous era's glamour and music," says Nkateko Mabaso, the M-Net director for local interest channels.

The Road with its high-brow concept hopes to capture the same success with audiences as Mzansi Magic did with Isibaya, although the intricate tale might be too difficult for some viewers.

The Road is set in two time periods - both the present and olden days Sophiatown - together with a murder mystery. Then there's the somewhat mind-bending aspect of the real-life actors playing characters in the story who are actors. These "actors" play characters in a Sophiatown setting, when a murder occurs.

Production company The Bomb Shelter describes it as "the beautiful singer Stella and talented writer Themba are star-crossed lovers longing to be together, but only destiny will tell if they end up in each other's arms".

"A heavyweight TV producer eager to tell and capture the touching story takes on the challenge, leading to spell-bound actions he couldn't have predicted".

The reality however is that the story is much more intricate that this, and it remains to be seen whether viewers will stick around for the viewing that requires some effort and concentration amidst the lavish beauty of 1950's recreated Sophiatown.

"This is a major milestone for us," says Nkateko Mabaso. "The Road marks our fourth venture into the genre and we've gone all out to create a high-quality, compelling drama for our audiences."

"We want them to feel immersed in the emotions of the characters and the demands of their worlds. The aim is to make a visually stunning, storyline-driven drama that will keep viewers enticed."

The Road will try to infuse and pay tribute to the sounds of the 50's and some of its greatest musicians into the story - and to then contrast that to modern-day Johannesburg.

The Road stars former Isidingo alum Darlington Michaels who has vowed to never return to the SABC3 soap saying he was badly treated and viewers can forget about "ever seeing me on Isidingo again".

Other The Road actors include Muzi MthabelaNandi Ngoma, Tsholofelo Maseko, Moneoa Moshesh, Solomon Sebothoma, Sithembiso Khoza, Gail Mabalane, Neo Ntlatleng and Sthandiwe Kgoroge.