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Play mirrors police corruption

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The play Accidental Death of a Radical that opens at Theatre in the Park on August 16 proved to be popular among local audiences in its previous shows at the Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) and Reps Theatre.

An adaptation of famous Italian playwright Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist, the play is mainly about police corruption, underscored by its focus on impersonation, infiltration, and double-talk.

A fast-talking major character, the Maniac, infiltrates a police station. Posing as an investigating judge, he tricks the policemen into contradicting themselves and admitting they are a part of cover-up involving the death of an anarchist.

In infiltrating police by misrepresenting himself, the Maniac reminds audiences of how most political groups in Italy — particularly left-wing groups — were infiltrated by police agents who acted as informers.

While in a provincial police station, the Maniac stumbles across a file documenting the alleged suicide of a radical railwayman.

With a file in hand, the Maniac takes it upon himself to turn the tables and interrogates the hapless police force.

What ensues is a fast-paced satire on corruption and brutality. Accidental Death of a Radical is set in Masvingo and is a satire on corruption which viciously probes the justice delivery system.

It was first performed at Hifa this year before going to Reps Theatre (Upstairs) last month. The response was overwhelming, prompting Rooftop Promotions to bring it back to Theatre in the Park where it runs until August 27.

The local adaptation is a product of Theory X Theatre Initiative that has formed a production house known as the X-Lab.

The cast includes Leeroy Gono who plays the Maniac.

Gono started his career in Harare before moving to Masvingo where he worked with the Masvingo Drama Circle as a coordinator.

He then moved back to Harare where he has took the three-year acting course at Theory X.

He has participated in plays like Wedding Day, Black Comedy, Funny Money and Zuva Crumbling among others.

The drama also features Precious Mudzingwa who plays dual roles as a journalist and a constable.

She started acting in Bulawayo, playing Lulu in the popular television sitcom King’s Kraal in 2006.

In 2007, she acted in Invisible Prison directed by Raisedon Baya at Hifa.

She went on to study Performing Arts for three years at Theory X Media, during which she performed in many other productions.

Musa Saruro plays Inspector Damba while Everson Ndlovu features as the superintendent.

Both actors have vast experience in theatre. Saruro had roles in Chronicles of Narnia, Fiddler On The Roof and The Impro Show, among other popular productions.

Ndlovu featured in various plays that include Just Papers, Conquered Plans and All Systems Out Of Order.

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