Mhlanga adapts 'O' Level set book

BULAWAYO - Bambata Actors Centre director Styx Mhlanga has completed casting Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the Boys, a play which is a Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) ‘O’ Level set book.

The award-winning Mhlanga is confident that the conversion of the classic ‘O’ Level set book into a stage play enhances understanding of the book among literature students.

“It makes learning easier as sometimes you forget what you read but do not normally forget easily what you see,” said Mhlanga.

“In order to ensure a deeper understanding and appreciation of the play we will have discussions involving the director, actors and the students after every showcase.”

The play, which targets students set to sit for ‘O’ Level examinations and those studying literature, will premiere at Amakhosi Cultural Centre during the second term school holiday.

Mhlanga believes the actors who have been given roles will live up to expectations. The cast, which has already started rehearsing at the National Gallery in Bulawayo, includes Memory Kumbota, Zenzo “Mzambane” Nyathi and young Bambatha actor Zwelithini Mackena.

Kumbota will act as a waiter called Sam while Nyathi has been handed the role of Willie also a waiter. Mackena will play the role of Hally (Master Harold).

Master Harold and the Boys is a one-act play by Fugard, a South African playwright. It is about two black men (Sam and Willie) and the teenage son of their employer and examines the nature of human relationships and societal pressures in 1950 South Africa against a backdrop of racial hatred.

The play by the famed South African playwright is among several ‘O’ Level set books that have been adapted for the stage by Mhlanga for the benefit of students.

The Bulawayo playwright has also done books such as Mother Courage, The Trial of Dedan Kimathi, Trials of brother Jero and Error of Comedians.


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