SS Mendi Dancing The Death Drill

Audio-described performance Drama and comedy Theatre

Audio described in-house.

Most had never seen the sea, many couldn’t swim, few returned.

Autumn 1916, 823 South African men board the SS Mendi in Cape Town, volunteers for the British Army bound for the Western Front.

Through a tragic twist of fate Pitso Motaung, finds himself aboard. Heavy pre-dawn fog shrouds the impending disaster. The collision comes with such force the SS Mendi sinks in minutes. By the time rescue arrives it is too late for most.

Paris, 1958. Two men are dead in a restaurant, attacked by the head waiter Pitso Motaung. Dark memories etched in Pitso’s mind are resurfacing decades later to devastating effect.

Dubbed the ‘Black Titanic’, the sinking of SS Mendi was one of the worst maritime disasters in the 20th century in UK waters. Yet, a startling story of hope and courage emerges. Brought to life, with live music by the critically acclaimed Cape Town-based Isango Ensemble and part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s Cultural Programme for the First World War Centenary.

Please note this is an audio described performance at an independent venue. Every effort has been made to ensure that these details are correct; however, please do double check with the venue for the availability of introductory notes and touch tours when booking.

Booking contact number 023 8067 1771 Booking contact email


Nuffield Southampton

University RoadSouthamptonSO17 1TR
023 8031 5500 Visit venue website