Media release: Sold-out at the Edinburgh International Festival 2021, Shona the Musical Choir returns for a 2022 Fringe Festival run


SOLD-out at the Edinburgh International Festival 2021, Shona the Musical Choir returns for a 2022 Fringe Festival run.

Based in Edinburgh, the choir sings original songs from African composer and playwright, Neo Vilakazi, who lives and works in Scotland. Shona, as Scottish a name as you can find, is also a tribal name in Zimbabwe.

The choir’s music and narrative is based on a fictional journey of a young African man sent to Edinburgh for education where he meets and marries a local lass. In this critically-acclaimed performance, the voices of Africa and Scotland blend together in the richest of harmonies akin to those of The Lion King’, ‘Ladysmith Black Mambazo’ or Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’.

Neo Vilakazi says: “This story and music is inspired by real events and the socio-political turmoil of Robert Mugabe’s rule of Zimbabwe as well as elements of my own experience of life in South Africa and Scotland. This is not a typical choir rendition as we have merged song and dance with new technology by integrating digital projection into our colourful performance.”

Performed by talented artists, the vocals, dancing and acting have been described as “simply stunning” (The Scotsman).

“Vilakazi’s lyrics and composition is varied, joyous and breathtaking. Each piece of music has its own energy and is met with equal praise by the audience’s echoing applause” (Five* Musical Theatre Review)

Shona the Musical Choir is only on for five performances: 10th-14th August, Pleasance at EICC (Venue No 150), 14.10 (2.10pm). Suitable for ages 12+.

Don’t miss this five-star show – chosen by as one of the top ten shows to see this August – hurry and get your tickets NOW!

Booking links and more details, including dates and locations of future performances beyond the Festival Fringe, are at


Notes for editors:

To book review tickets for this show, please contact the Pleasance Press Office 0131 556 6557

Photo credits – available on request if not supplied already

Main poster image ‘Queens of Africa’ – copyright Neo Productions

Marketing contact details:

Neo Vilakazi – email:; tel: 0775 1789 464

Mhairi Gray – email:

Creative team:

  • Neo Vilakazi – Lyricist, script, composer and artistic director
  • Ramcise Modie (DJ Ramsy) – Co-composer/musical producer
  • Morgan Njobo – Co-composer
  • Tilly Letsholo – Choir leader
  • Declan Randall – Production design
  • Siphosethu Gojo and Mthetheleli Dlakavu – JointcChoreographers

Neo Productions is an Edinburgh-based multi-cultural theatre company limited by guarantee (SC266951). The company was established in 2004, to give people from the black and minority ethnic (BAME) population of Scotland opportunities to develop their on-stage and back-stage skills and to promote work by black and minority ethnic artists.

Shona the Musical Choir 2022 performance dates:

10th -14th August Edinburgh International Conference Centre (Edinburgh)

25th August Gaiety Theatre (Ayrshire)

15th September Eden Court (Inverness)

16th September Music Hall (Aberdeen)

17th September Horsecross (Perthshire)

17th – 19th October Hackney Empire (London)

22nd October Buxton Opera House (Buxton)

Tour dates in Ayr, Inverness, Perth and Aberdeen are supported by Creative Scotland funding.

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