On a ‘cold and starless night’ a young pregnant widow, Nandi, arrives in Tin Town, a bleak, drought-stricken place ruled by silence and fear. Little do the inhabitants know that Nandi is carrying the baby who will, in time, change all that. Taken in by Umkhulu (grandfather), whose father established the tin bucket factory that gave the town its name, Nandi gives birth to Nomvula, the Little Drummer Girl. Umkhulu remembers a past when ‘people were free to sing and dance’, when the rain came and the townsfolk held up their tin buckets to catch the precious, life-giving drops. And then came the Silent Sir and his spokesman, the Censor, and the town went silent. As the singing and dancing and drumming dried up, so did the rain. The tin bucket factory closed, taking with it the life and purpose of Tin Town’s inhabitants. Only the Little Drummer Girl can bring back that life, but at enormous personal cost. In Tin Bucket Drum, Neil Coppen achieves a small miracle. Through his lyrical script and the creative use of lighting and sound, one woman, the Narrator, succeeds in evoking a host of characters as this allegorical tale of oppression and liberation plays itself out. It is a story that offers a host of lessons for many places and many times.