Since Friday, Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre has been adorned by a catalogue of art performances.
The artistic package has been delivered under the umbrella of the third edition of the Easter Theatre Festival. Talk of drama, poetry, storytelling, comedy, dance and music, they have all been delivered with impressive finesse.
Since the event started on Friday, JCC has hosted performances by Jacaranda Cultural Troupe, who impressed with their Indian dance, 16-year-old poetry sensation Souvenir Jana, comedian Raheem Khonart and events on the first day ended with a performance of the late Frank Patani Mwase’s play Divorce.
On the second day, patrons were treated to performances by Solomonic Peacocks who collaborated with Germany’s Qaurtier in an adaption of the 1971 play Lear. There was also time for comedians Chiphwanya and Sasoka who lit up the platform with their witty jokes.
Still on the second day, there was also an opportunity for patrons to sample the work of poet Baba Ngoni whose prose and projection caught the attention of many while the Chichiri Cultural Troupe held their own too with a scintillating performance of the traditional vimbuza dance.
The Young Travellers Theatre were also on call with a performance of their play titled Lobola, Tuaka Arts took to the stage too with a showcase of their play.
Director of the festival, McArthur Matukuta said he was encouraged with the growth that the festival has registered, adding there is no need to sit on the laurels, but to continue investing efforts to further improve the festival.
“Through such platforms, we want to communicate to the world out there that theatre is a business and a career. We want to prove that we can make a living out of theatre. No one will build this industry for us, we need to build it on our own,” he said.
Matukuta said if the country is to be marketed to the world, sectors such as arts need to step up their act and deliver services with standards and good quality.
He said events such as the theatre festival are an ideal place for artists to establish connections and earn new opportunities.
Department of Arts senior standards officer Victor Gondwe said as government, they will continue rendering support to events such as the Easter Theatre Festival for the important role their play in marketing the country to the outside world.
The three-day festival wrapped up as we went to press yesterday evening. This year’s event was held under the theme Doing Theatre Unusual.