Kani checks into hospital soap

World Brief

JOHANNESBURG — After decades performing on stage and screen around the world, South African actor-playwright John Kani will make his TV debut in a locally produced “ER”-style hospital skein.

“Hillside” is produced by GBR Prods. for predominantly Sotho-language pubcaster channel SABC2. Feature helmer Ramadan Suleman (“Zulu Love Letter”) directs.

Set in the northern city of Pretoria, the drama was conceived by State Theater artistic director Aubrey Sekhabi and Paul Grootboom, who previously collaborated on SABC2’s sitcom “Mponeng” and drama “Orlando,” and Itumeleng Motsikoe.

The scribes have not revealed details about Kani’s character, except to say he will play a major role in a coup for the series.

The first 13 episodes will begin filming in July and will use more than 100 actors in the next two to three months.

The language split will be 55% Sotho and 45% multilingual, with the use of other languages like English and Afrikaans where appropriate.

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