The two were among six groups during this year’s April International Theatre Festival in Lusaka where The Hot Undercurrent by Blantyre’s Solomonic Peacocks earned rave reviews and a standing ovation.
At the onset of the three-day theatre feast, festival captain Kalonji Ndlovu said the return of the Lusaka show after a five-year hiatus would help identify Zambia’s flag-carriers at the forthcoming edition of Blantyre’s annual affair.
In an interview, BAF coordinator McArthur Matukuta confirmed that Yezi Arts, who run the Lusaka show, settled for the army group’s anti-corruption play Behind the Curtain, but the Zimbabweans have also expressed interest to showcase No Voice, No Choice, a gripping and reconciliatory collaboration with Zvido Zvavanhu Arts Ensemble.
“On Monday [last week], our friends from Lusaka wrote us to confirm the selection of Green Buffaloes and Edzai Isu have also asked to come. We have since sent invitations to both groups which are eager to come,” said Matukuta, who led Solomonic Peacocks success spree in Lusaka.
This is the first time the soldier’s play is going outside Zambia. It will not only challenge Malawi Defence Force and other government agencies to start sponsoring arts as much as sports, but also festival-goers with a glance at devastating drama, blaring brawls and steaming insanity in the home of corrupt politicians constantly under the microscope of journalists and family members wide awake.
On the other hand, the Zimbabwean reps took the 2011 National Arts Merit Awards outstanding theatrical production nominee toÂ Sadc Best of the Best Community Theatre in November last year.
Written and directed by Tafadzwa Muzondo, No Voice No Choice left people in tears and stitches with a superlative blend of acting, singing, dancing and storytelling that awakens viewers to start dealing with politically motivated violence the size that gripped Zimbabwe before President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a unity government.
In an interview, Muzondo dedicated the play to the innocent and resilient Zimbabweans who suffered dehumanising abuse and still long for peace and freedom of choice as well as the perpetrators of violence who are victims of unscrupulous politicians and suffer in silence forgetting violence will not end if they do not speak out.