Zim duo at Shakespeare’s Globe

London - Vakomana Vaviri ve Zimbabwe, a stunning African version of Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona, is on at the famous Globe Theatre in London for two nights next week.

Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyebvu in action.
Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyebvu in action.

The play is a two-man Zimbabwean riot of love, friendship and betrayal in which, from Verona to Milan, via Harare and Bulawayo, two great friends vie for the love of the same woman. Using little to no props, a few items of clothing and a set that consists of no more than a trunk, the actors explore the text’s nuances from a distinctly Zimbabwean perspective, bringing Shakespeare’s verse to life in this new, specially commissioned Shona translat- ion. With a watchful eye, great intuition and comic timing, the actors Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyevu draw the audience into the action and create a soulful and engaging theatrical experience not to be missed.

Two Gents Productions is a Zimbabwean theatre company based in London, and founded in February 2008 by actors Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyebvu, and director Arne Pohlmeier. The company’s aim is to present Shakespeare in new and unfamiliar ways by fusing it with contemporary Zimbabwean performance modes of storytelling, improvisation, mime and dance. The company’s fast paced, minimalist approach influenced by South African protest plays such as Woza Albert!, The Island and Sizwe Banzi is Dead, lends itself beautifully to the language of Shakespeare.

The company members’ individual cultural backgrounds, their experience of migration and audience-centred, physically engaging yet technically minimalist style infuse all Two Gents’ productions. To date the company has presented in London and the UK: Two Gentlemen of Verona, Kupenga Kwa Hamlet and Magetsi. Vakomana Vaviri ve Zimbabwe at Shakespeare’s Globe is the first full length Shona language production. [email protected]

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