Theatre in the Park will in February open its first season for 2011 with a regional production from Malawi entitled Ganyu, directed by Stanley Mambo who once lived and worked in Zimbabwe before relocating to his home country of Malawi.
The Mwezi Entertainment production, which will run from February 2 to 26, is performed by a professional acrobatics group called Kufewa.
“It is an explosive physical production and a magical fusion of acrobatics and theatre,” said Rooftop Promotions sales and marketing executive Tafadzwa Muzondo.
He said in the play, conceived in a marginalised society and brought about by a ghetto culture, influences and opportunities that limit their dreams and destiny, a group of youths transform their teenage games into a source of livelihood, a talent and inheritance from the past generation.
They take to the streets performing to entertain passers-by and manage to beg out that little extra or budgeted money into their own hats, for their daily needs.
In that hunting forest, they encounter the wild side of the jungle –myths and beliefs, mob psychology and peer pressure, the law and corruption, alcohol and drug abuse as well as HIV and Aids.
“The experience of exploring and creating Ganyu is a deep search for the energy and spirit that can purely connect the art forms fused with the artist’s diverse talent,” said Mambo who was popular in Zimbabwe for his role in Studio 263 as the n’anga, journalist and detective in the original cast of the soap.
He said in the process of creating the production they developed a unique fusion of theatre styles called “afrobatics”, a creative theatre style fusing acrobatics, text, movement, music, sounds and images in an artistically electrifying technique.
Apart from Ganyu, Theatre in the Park will also present 365 Days by Stephen Chifunyise and Me and Friend from South Africa.
“We have deliberately made two of these productions regional so as to compensate for the regional quota at Theatre in the Park which had been rendered difficult to fulfil by the economic challenges of yesteryear,” said Rooftop Promotions producer, Daves Guzha.