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Actress urges locals to experience theatre


ACTRESS Charlene Mangweni said there was need for the general public to appreciate and support theatre by going in their numbers to watch plays on stage rather than to expect them to be availed on DVDs.


Mangweni, who is also a journalist and radio presenter, features in the play — Breathing Graves — which was staged at Theatre in the Park last week.

Responding to questions from the audience where some viewers wanted to know if the plays could be found on DVDs, she said that was often impossible as theatre was different from television.

“It’s meant to be experienced rather than just watched. There is so much you can savour from being in the audience than watching it on DVD. Instead, it’s imperative for theatre goers to encourage more Zimbabweans to go and watch theatre and experience it themselves,” she said.

Breathing Graves’s director Tafadzwa ‘Bob’ Mutumbi concurred with Mangweni, saying that theatre can play a pivotal role in people’s livelihoods.

“People need to express appreciation for theatre by coming out in their numbers and witnessing the unfolding of plays on stage. Theatre has the power to transform, heal, to provoke thought and to inspire change,” he said.

Mutumbi said the production of the play was inspired by challenges faced by fathers as heads of families during times of hardships.

“What inspired us to do the play was the need to tell a common and truthful Zimbabwe story on how fatherhood, known in Shona as hubaba, gets threatened when a country is faced with economic hardships. It was also meant to provoke conversations and resolve challenges facing families during these harsh times,” he said.

He described the play as “provocative and relatable” which explores the meaning of fatherhood in difficult times. In the play, Muzamo, a qualified engineer played by Shepard Leo, loses his job, which affects his relationship with his wife Maggi played by Mangweni.

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