State of the Ape Address in Southern Africa tour

State of the Ape Address in Southern Africa tour

State of the Ape Address, a Malawian theatre production by Mwezi Arts is set to be staged in five southern African countries as part the group’s tour.

Mwezi Arts is scheduled to perform in Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, e-Swatini and South Africa where they will participate at the Botho Theatre Festival. But before their departure, the group will stage a farewell performance in Malawi at Madsoc Theatre in Lilongwe on Saturday.

Nkhonjera: The production is a Malawian business

The play is an adaptation of a short story A Report to the Academy written and published by Franz Kafka in 1891. The story centres on an ape that was shot, captured and scientifically tamed to mimic human action and speech.

The ape was then tasked to present his report to the academy. He eventually lost his memory of what it feels like to be an ape. To fit and find a way out, he adapts to handshaking, smoking, spitting, scrolling, performing, drinking and fighting as such actions appear to be what makes people human.

The director of the play, Stanley Malizani Mambo, in an interview yesterday said the story line addresses modern human encounters in this millennium.

“The play is a brilliantly crafted theatre piece that reflects on interesting themes on one’s survival, freedom and assimilation. It is an intense physical monologue. The character tables issues of dominance, isolation and how one can track their path to feedom,” he said.

The play will be staged at the Botho Festival, FITI in Maputo, Mozambique, TX Theatre, Alex Theatre, Theatre on Square, Johannesburg Academy for Theatre Arts, Windbrow, Eastern Cape, Maseru National Theatre and Mmabana Theatre.

The play was produced in 2023 by Hazel Musochera and was created for Madsoc Theatre. On the tour, Mwezi Arts has collaborated with Project R of South Africa and actor Taddja Nkhonjera of Dikamawoko Arts, who stars in the one-man play.

In a separate interview, Nkhonjera said the fundamental benefit of the tour is to present Malawian theatre to the countries so that they are exposed to what Malawian theatre has to offer.

He said: “The production is a Malawian business. The product we are marketing has been bought by all these venues, festivals and art schools, reflecting a potential market for local creatives. There is a whole chain of potential networking at the international festivals and renowned theatres.”

The play was premiered in Malawi in March 2023.

South African Hamilton Dlamini said after watching the play: “The play managed to take us into the world of apes and thoughts about what bothers their peace. It hurts to realise our ignorance and vandalism as humans.”

On his part, German art critic Rolf  Drescher said: “I was captivated by the actor Tadjja’s remarkable portrayal of the humanisation of the underlying question of the changeability of identities. It was a thought-provoking evening, not without fun.”

The post State of the Ape Address in Southern Africa tour first appeared on Nation Online.

The post State of the Ape Address in Southern Africa tour appeared first on Nation Online.