Directed by Kate Stafford, Designed by Hazel Albarn
This lively, musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s last play features the stunning contemporary African dance choreography of Shyne Phiri, and original music by Frederick Rich and Ben Makhamba. It is powerful, passionate, and of course magical. By bringing together artists from Africa and Europe, the company uses the best from both continents to both entertain and move the audience.
The play is about patriarchy, colonialism and power: it is not about race, which is made clear by the casting of a multi-racial cast of native English speakers for Prospero, Miranda, Ferdinand, Trinculo and Stephano, while Caliban and Ariel are Malawian, and native Chichewa speakers. As a colonist who has grown up on the island, Miranda speaks mostly in English but occasionally in Chichewa (for instance when she is berating Caliban).
Full of humour, movement and music, the show is fluid, fast paced and exciting.
Following the success of our UK tour, the production will be available to tour in Southern Africa in early 2019 before returning to London for an extended run.
Romeo and Juliet (Romio ndi julietti)
directed by Amy Bonsall
Originally commissioned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the work-in-progress was performed by a Malawian cast in the gardens of Hall's Croft in Stratford-upon-Avon. In April 2016, we asked Malawian poet Stanley Onjezani Kenani to work on an all-new Chichewa translation of the play. This was published in Malawi in 2016 by Dzuka Publishing Co. Ltd. A new production directed by Amy Bonsall opened in Mzuzu where it toured to University, Secondary School and Village audiences, drawing huge crowds.
Our partners in Malawi are Mzuzu University and Nanzikambe, and a Nanzikambe Theatre Arts production of the play is available to tour on request.
Brothers in Blood
by Mike Van Graan. Directed by Amy Bonsall
In October and November 2014 we worked with acclaimed writer Mike Van Graan, presenting rehearsed readings of two of his plays: Brothers in Blood directed by Amy Bonsall and Elusive Spring directed by Kate Stafford. The readings were part of the Afrovibes Festival 2014 hosted by UK Arts International.
We opened at the festival at Stratford Circus in London, then toured to Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Birmingham.
And Crocodiles Are Hungry At Night
adapted by Kate Stafford from the Memoir by Jack Mapanje
Opened in Malawi in 2012 and subsequently toured London and Stratford. Currently touring Malawi, and available for booking worldwide.
Click on the image for more information, cast and reviews.
Love On Trial
adapted by Roe Lane from a short story by Stanley Kenani
'Mr Lapani Kachingwe's popularity has soared. From the time he stumbled upon two young men in a toilet, his fame has reached levels he never imagined.' Love on Trial highlights the hypocrisy of Western countries imposing ideals on poorer countries that they do not follow themselves. It intercuts Stanley Kenani's Caine Prize-nominated story of illegal homosexuality in Malawi with the press frenzy surrounding British singer George Michael's 1998 arrest for 'lewd conduct' in a LA public toilet.
Love On Trial was commissioned by and co-producted with Ovalhouse, as one of the productions chosen for their 50th Anniversary season.