Zim play wows UK audiences

An extended run has been announced of a Zimbabwean comedy showing at the Tricycle Theatre in London. The Epic Adventure of Nhamo the Manyika Warrior and His Sexy Wife Chipo had its opening night on 1st August, and has since received rave reviews from a plethora of British media – Time Out described it as ‘Hilariously mad’ and ‘wonderfully sharp’, the Financial Times said it was ‘a delight from start to finish’ and The Times gave it four stars, with news

The week long extension of the play is a clear indication that it is proving to be a big success, and one can see why with such an enticing plot. The play possesses a narrator (played by Don Gilet) whose task it is to create “the greatest story ever told”. He already has many of the key components in place for this fable, but is missing a heroic protagonist, and only has 24 hours in which to create the story and take it to Hollywood. Just in time, he comes across a goatherd by the name of Nhamo (Ery Nzaramba). However, the narrator’s new find is somewhat reluctant to take up the reins in a story about himself – that is until the sexy character of Chipo (Tanya Fear) is entered into the equation.

The play was written by Zimbabwe-born comic actor Denton Chikura, serving as his debut as a playwright. As one third of Zimbabwean Shakespeare Company, Two Gents Productions, Chikura has made a name for himself with Two Gentlemen of Verona, which was acclaimed at the Globe in 2012 and which recently toured Australia. He has also had considerable presence on stage in the past, appearing in The Arabian Nights – another production shown at the Tricycle Theatre – Hamlet and Magetsi (Two Gents Productions), You Can’t Take It With You (Told by an Idiot/Manchester Royal Exchange), Six Seeds (Told by an Idiot/National Theatre) and Yours Abundantly from Zimbabwe (Oval House).

This world premiere production of Chikura’s play is being presented by Tiata Fahodzi, a leading British-African theatre company – based in London – which aims to create theatre that reflects the cultural experiences of Africans. The company’s Artistic Director, British-Zimbabwean Lucian Msamati (JLB Matekoni in The Number One Lady Detective’s Agency), provides his directional debut for Tiata Fahodzi here, creating ‘high-brow theatre that is universally entertaining – a Shakesperean feat.’, according to one of the UK’s leading theatre websites Whats On Stage.

The play is showing at the Tricycle Theatre from now until the 24th August 2013 – tickets are reasonably priced, and if the reviews and extended run are anything to go by, they may disappear rapidly!

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