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Amen: Last Word in Theatre This Weekend

THEATRE lovers are in for a treat this weekend with the showcasing of the play Amen Zim – the product of a workshop facilitated by the Embassy of Spain in conjunction with Rooftop Promotions – described as “a vibrant reflection of everyday life with a humorous tweak and lots of irony”.

According to Águeda Sanfiz, cultural attaché at the Embassy of Spain, Amen Zim is the result of a “performance experiment” that the renowned Spanish playwright and director Inigo Ramirez de Haro has conducted with 24 Zimbabwean artists who include actors, comedians and dancers. These include veteran actor Charles Matare whose credits include the award-winning play Heaven’s Diary, actor Zenzo Nyathi who performs in both theatre and film and who starred in the soap Amakorokoza, 2007 Nama awards Best Actor Mandla Moyo and former Studio 263 actress Charity Dlodlo.

In creating the play the director and cast deviated from “making theatre” in the orthodox manner; the production does not have a script, rules or directions.
Ramirez de Haro – whose plays have been performed in cities as diverse as Buenos Aires, Kinshasa, New York and Norway – has his own theatre company comprising of actors from Colombia, Argentina and Spain.   
Society, Ramirez de Haro says, “requires that we be passive, predictable and compliant but we take the opposite approach of being rebellious, unpredictable and audacious.”  
The artists therefore called the shots in terms of where the story began and where it ended, the characters they would portray and the sources of inspiration upon which they would build.
Daves Guzha of Rooftop Promotions paid tribute to the efforts of the Spanish Embassy in fostering the exchange of creativity and enhancing the cultural and artistic arenas in Zimbabwe. He noted that “whilst the brain drain that Zimbabwe suffered during the economic downturn is well chronicled in the fields of health and education, there was little acknowledgment of its harmful effects on the arts and how it has laid that sector bare”.
Amen Zim will officially be presented at the Music and Computer Centre of Prince Edward today at 6pm, and also on Saturday in the streets of Mbare at 1pm.


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