District Six the Musical at Pretoria Boys


District Six the Musical, by David Kramer and Taliep Peterson, was brought to life at Pretoria Boys High School at the Desmond Abernethy Hall with the technical supplied by AJR Audio. AJR’s Head of Lighting Marnus Schoeman was responsible for the lighting design, while the school children were the performers and worked as backstage crew. The poignant production included Robe Pointes, miniPointes, Robin 100 LEDBeams and CycFX8s.


Going back in history, District Six was an area in Cape Town named in 1867 and was an ethnically diverse community of former slaves, merchants, artisans and immigrants. While dilapidated District Six had its share of crime and poverty, it had life, a soul, and was a place where music was significant. In the early twentieth century, black South Africans were forcibly removed from District Six. In 1966, a further 60 000 people of colour were forced to relocate as District Six was declared a “whites-only” zone. Bulldozers arrived demolishing houses, shops and streets, sparing only a few buildings like churches and mosques, and depositing a sad sense of longing to return in the hearts of those who once lived there.



“Being a theatrical production I tried to create a theatrical look with the lighting equipment I had at my disposal, keeping in mind that the story played off in the old South Africa,” said LD Marnus Schoeman.



The most challenging part of the job was hiding the lighting fixtures out of view from the audience. While the school has a basic lighting system with Chauvet fixtures, there are not many rigging points. With this in mind, AJR rigged most of the additional fixtures on fly bars above and to the side of the stage.


The lighting rig incorporated 4 x Robe Pointes, 4 x miniPointes, 4 x Robin 100 LEDBeam and 4 x Robe CycFX 8 lights with programming on an Avolites Titan Mobile.


“I obviously love the Robe Pointes because they are so versatile, beam, wash or spot,” said Marnus. “The miniPointes again, whether on beam or wash mode, stood out.” The fixtures were typically used to wash the stage, helping to support the actors as they presented song and drama.

Heartwarming for Marnus, who has only been in the industry for the past three years, was working with the students. “The children were so excited about the play,” he said. “Besides the AJR technical team consisting of Altus Janse van Rensburg, Anré Jacobs, Dewet “Rolo” Carleson and I, it was the school children who stepped in as backstage crew. You could see the passion, they are really talented and love what they do.”



About District Six the Musical, he comments, “The show was emotional. There is a character who is always funny, not a serious guy, who at the end of the play dies. Every time I watched the show, knowing what was about to happen, I got goosebumps. It was powerful.”


Equipment List:


  • 6 x L-Acoustics Arch Focus &Wide
  • 4 x L-Acoustics SB18
  • 1 x L-Acoustics LA8
  • 1 x L-Acoustics LA4X
  • 1 x Soundcraft Si Impact
  • 1 x Soundcraft Compact Stage-Box
  • 12 x Shure QLXD Body-Packs
  • 1 x Audix Drum Mics DP Range
  • 1 x Shure SM57
  • 2 x Shure Beta 57
  • 4 x Beyerdynamic Headphones
  • 2 x Audix ADX20I
  • 2 x Shure CVG18
  • 2 x Radial J48
  • 4 x BSS AR-133 Active DI


  • 4 x Robe Pointes
  • 4 x miniPointes
  • 2 x Robe CYCFX 8
  • 4 x Robin 100 LEDBeam
  • 11 x Longman FacePars
  • 3 x Longman F4UP
  • 4 x Longman F8
  • 2 x Le Maitre MVS Hazer
  • 22 x Chauvet LED Pars (Property of the School)
  • 1 x Titan Mobile
  • 1 x Titan Mobile Wing