HARARE – Stirring theatre production Blood Tongue, The Musical — an exciting collaboration between Zimbabwean and South African artistes, brewed in rehearsals since October at Bluez Café in Bulawayo, has been blazing a trail through Zimbabwe, and is now invited to a vibrant festival in Mpumalanga, South Africa, in early December.
Produced by Nhimbe Trust, Blood Tongue – The Musical is a play by the award-winning Zimbabwean playwright and author, Christopher Mlalazi, which explores the struggles of a strong-willed woman in present-day Zimbabwe.
It is directed by Eunice Tava in collaboration with South African music directors Bafana Dladla, and pianist Tshepo Pheko of the South African music group Generation2Generation.
The Zimbabwean cast includes Bulawayo actresses Musa Sibanda, Noma Damasane, Rea Moyo and Bonakele Agnes Ncube.
The local tour started on November 12 at Bulawayo Theatre with a great response, and moved on to the Charles Austin Theatre, Masvingo on the 14th, but Harare and Norton shows on 15 and 16 November were cancelled “due to circumstances beyond our control” — as well reported events on the political field began to unfold in the capital and Zimbabweans welcomed the winds of change.
The performances will be rescheduled in partnership with Theatre in the Park, Harare and Pakare Paye Arts Centre, Norton.
In the meantime, the musical has been invited to the Emalahleni Artists Preserving Heritage Festival (Ubuntu) to be held at the Emalahleni Civic Theatre, in Mpumalanga, South Africa on December 8 and 9, 2017.
The organiser, the Alexandra Youth in Action Ensemble, is a nonprofit organisation based in Alexandra Township, which focusses on tolerance, rehabilitation and eradication of poverty through community theatre.
The festival will create opportunities that explore and celebrate the South African heritage and culture exchange through arts giving a platform and an opportunity to community artistes to showcase and promote their work.
Executive director of Nhimbe Trust and producer Josh Nyapimbi said: “It’s a great honour to be invited to showcase Blood Tongue — The Musical in SA. The cast is overjoyed by the opportunities to share, learn and exchange with their South African peers.”
The collaboration empowers and Nhimbe’s Women in Theatre and Television programme (WiTT) and other Zimbabwean theatre practitioners by demonstrating the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary skills-set in commercial musical theatre production.