SAVANNAH Trust, one of the leading local arts organisations, will be sending a new play titled Half Empty, Half Full to Durban for the Musho Theatre Festival which starts tomorrow.
Report by Silence Charumbira Entertainment Reporter
The festival is specifically for one and two-hander plays.
Daniel Maposa, director of Savannah Trust yesterday said the cast and production team would be leaving for Durban today for the festival, which is scheduled to end on February 20.
Maposa said the play will be staged twice with the major highlight being that it will feature at the closing show of the festival.
“This play is going to be important to Zimbabwean theatre landscape. Our theatre is recovering from the economic lull of the past decade and this play is a significant, key and timely contribution in the re-writing of a vivid indigenous Zimbabwean stage grammar,” said Maposa.
Written by celebrated South African playwright Mncedisi Shabangu of the Ten Bush fame, the play is about two men who grew up separately and are united by fate.
On the eve of their departure to the big city, they both discover love.
Featuring Teddy Mangava and Tafadzwa Hananda, the play takes a stern approach to social realities as the two characters open up on what has happened in their respective lives.
They attack various social ills that they have had to live with. They are against the tendency of celebrating villains that is common in their society.
As they journey to the city, they symbolically go in circles which Shabangu, who doubles as the director, telling a story about how rural Africans live.
“When you are in the city, a lot happens around you but with rural life people seem to circle around the same place,” said Shabangu.
“The circles also symbolise the significance of circles in African setups since many rituals in different customs are done while people are gathered in a circular form.”
On stage however, the striking resemblance of the circular motions is given meaning by the actors with one of them failing to reach the city and actually becoming the epitome of poverty in the rural areas.
Various themes are interrogated in the play and it interestingly attacks vices while at the same time exploring the different labours that human life has to endure because of love.
Issues to do with fortunes in love are portrayed as inevitable yet meaningless in some instances.
The story takes a turn when the duo hears that there is a diamond rush somewhere in their area.
In the end, one friend has to make a sacrifice and remain behind in the village. The river has gone dry and it is now “half empty, half full”.
It will be the first time for both actors to feature in an international production but their previous experience in local theatre is likely to spur them to a higher level.
As opposed to Ten Bush, this play by Shabangu has minimal theatrical instruments on stage giving the audience very little to focus on, in turn making sure that they grasp the message.