Lilongwe theatre fans had a rare opportunity on Wednesday of watching a one man show by an American dramatist James Carey, who is on a tour of Southern Africa with his humorous true life story of his first trip to Africa.
Coming to Zimbabwe
is a comic tale of a man who comes to Harare from Los Angeles after his life seems to be crumbling. The play is a portrayal of life changing events that happened to the playwright when he visited Zimabwe in 2012, to adjudicate the National Institute of Allied Arts (NIAA) festival.
Carey wrote his overwhelming and adventurous experiences down, and adapted this for the stage as a one hander.
“Back home, my life was falling apart, I had almost lost my job and my house and my business was on the low. It was at this time when the NIAA invited me to adjudicate at their festival. It was my first time to come to this country and I fell in love with it,” said Carey in an interview after the show at Lilongwe’s Madsoc Theatre.
He said his one-month stay reenergised him at a time his life was crumbling.
“Working with children energised me, I connected with my roots and I was reminded of the reason why I got into theatre in the first place. It was really amazing,” he said.
After the Lilongwe shows, he heads to Cape Town, South Africa and his first stop was Harare, Zimbabwe.
He said it was the persistence of Madsoc Theatre that spurred him to come to Malawi, a country that knew little or nothing at all about him.
“When they got wind of my performances in Harare, they insisted I come here. It was an opportunity as well as a challenge but I must say, it was worth it because I did what I was supposed to do and people who came enjoyed,” he said.
Carey co-founded The Attic Theatre Ensemble in 1987, which has become one of Los Angeles’ most important and prestigious legitimate theatre groups.