Zim play set for African tour

HARARE - The Greyman Experiment, a play which was part of the theatre programme at the just-ended Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa), will be taken to several African countries later this year.

The play, which was written by Mandisi Gobodi and directed by Leeroy Gono, is scheduled to be taken to Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa.

Gono confirmed the pending tour of several African countries adding that an international tour was also a possibility.

“We will tour Kenya in September with the South African tour coming a month later. Dates for Mozambique and Malawi are still to be confirmed,” Gono told the Daily News.

“Some of the shows were scheduled before Hifa but we got a few more after we had impressed some people at Hifa.”

The Greyman Experiment, which premiered at the Protest Arts International Festival in December last year, features a South African actor called Bongani Xulu and a Zimbabwean actress Precious Mudzingwa.

The play is a witty take on the complex relationships in modern society. Greyman and Greywoman are a couple living in a cosmopolitan city laden with the demands of urbanisation. The definition of roles and gender perceptions is challenged daily. Greywoman puts the Greyman under secret observations, observing all his moves so as to report back on how to get a man to do what a woman wants.

Gono, who directed the experimental play, has been delighted by the positive reaction of theatre audiences since the play premiered last year.

“It is about the battle of the sexes rages on. A most unorthodox experiment unfolds that will blow you away,” said Gono.

The Greyman Experiment director worked with an experienced cast featuring Xulu and Mudzingwa. The South African actor featured in “Zwelihle” directed by Zama Msibi which was showcased at the Market Lab, Cartalina Theatre and Stable theatre.

In 2012 and 2013 respectively Xulu performed in ‘Loyile Lamabala’ and ‘Conversation with the Snake’ directed by Ntshieng Mokgoro which were performed in Grahamstown at the National Arts Festival to a standing ovations. The South African actor’s most recent work, ‘Human Race,’ was performed at the Market Lab and went on to win at the Isigcawu Theatre Festival, with Xulu winning the Most Promising Actor Award.

The rising South African is ably supported by Mudzingwa who also played the nun in the popular play, ‘The gods you’ve built.’ A theatre and film graduate from Theory X, Mudzingwa has a massive acting experience ranging from television to stage.

Her stage work includes ‘Eclipsed’ written by Danai Gurira and directed by Zane Lucas (Hifa 2012); ‘Accidental death of an Anarchist’ written by Dario Fo and directed by Zane Lucas (Hifa 2011); ‘Revolution Avenue’ written by Musekiwa Samuriwo and directed by Leeroy Gono (Hifa 2010) as well as ‘Invisible Prison’ written and directed by Raisedon Baya.

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