Theatre in the Park re-opens tonight

HARARE - After four years on the sidelines, Theatre in the Park is expected to make an explosive re-entry on the country’s theatre scene with the rip-roaring political satire that was banned by the Censorship Board in 2003.

The play tells the story of a woman living in a non-functioning state.

In a queue one day, she explodes with frustration, and is arrested for her outburst.

She is brought before the unnamed leader and boldly accuses him of greed and mismanagement.

In a statement, Rooftop Promotions founder and director Daves Guzha outlined the thrust of the play.

“The play imagines the success of a carefully imagined and executed indigenisation policy, which genuinely assists Zimbabwean businesses.

“It imagines a successful agricultural and land reform policy, which provides food enough for the country and the region.

“It asks why we have squandered our diamond resources and failed to sustainably exploit our platinum, gold and uranium. And it looks for a political system in which diversity of political opinion strengthens rather than factionalises the parties, and in which there is no need to hide behind the tinted windows of a bulletproof Mercedes,” said Guzha, who is part of the play’s cast.

He believes the play, which revolves around an ageing African dictator who does not want to give up power, is very relevant to Zimbabwe which has known only one leader since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.

“Over the past decades, we have watched the degeneration of leadership in Zimbabwe.

“The politicians seem more and more like mediocre actors playing to a crowd, forgetting their lines . . .  stumbling over the disintegrating stage,” said Guzha, whose organisation runs Theatre in the Park.

He added that the play was banned in 2003 after the Censorship Board declared that “it would cause alarm and despondency”.

“Unable to perform in our own community, we took the production to the international stage, performing to wide acclaim in theatres across the region and the world,” said Guzha.

The play, which will start at 5.30pm today, will feature its original cast that includes Daves Guzha, Jasen Mphepho, O’Brien Mudyiwenyama, who will be joined by veteran actor Mandla Moyo and actress Eunice Tava.

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