Over the past editions The Standard Theatre has presented exciting local and international productions. This year’s edition, which runs from May 1 to 6, will see more plays gracing the theatre. Below are previews of productions to look forward to.
Sierra Leonean Patrice Naiambana, who brought The Man Who Committed Thought to Hifa for two years, returns with a play that questions the role of artists and citizens. An exiled African storyteller loses his memory; he has no name, no past. Stories flow by at seemingly disconnected tangents; still he cannot find himself, but accusations give birth to unexpected truths.
The piece explores de-colonial options for the African performance form.
Naiambana stages the play together with talented Zimbabwean actors Bob Tafadzwa, Rejoice Simango, Josphat Ndlovu and Pamela Gonye.
Irreverent, sarcastic and downright hilarious — this is the news as you have always wanted it to be presented.
The act was created by two of the country’s pioneering creative minds, Comrade Fatso and Outspoken. From race to sex, from politics to sport, two comical news presenters Mandape Mandape (Outspoken) and Jerome Weathers (Comrade Fatso) takes audiences on an exciting bulletin.
Michael Kudakwashe and Fungai Machirori also feature in the production.
Third Person: Bonnie & Clyde (Redux)
A Manchester-based proto-type theatre investigates the events that unfolded out of the electric meeting of two of history’s most infamous lovers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
As they illustrate, control and sometimes wrongly communicate the story, the performers veer between the emotional, the factual and the fantastical as they pick-apart the particulars of this strange love affair. The production creates a fragmented tale of evidence, rumours and the surprising connections between love, life, death and donuts.
This production is for adult audiences only.
Merchant of Venice
Paradise Players, a new performance ensemble led by UK-based composer/performer Juwon Ogungbe, presents its debut production — a new music theatre adaptation of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.
This adaptation features an ensemble that sings, acts and plays instruments, aiming to bring into being a new vision of total performance and a unique form of contemporary singing theatre. The narrative unfolds in a world that aligns Shakespeare’s Venice, with inspiration from Ethiopian Orthodox Christian and Rastafarian rituals.
The ensemble features several new names and faces to watch from Harare’s vibrant music and theatre scenes.
Donal O’Kelly’s play is about African-American ex-slave Frederick Douglass’ voyage to Ireland in 1845.
The Cambria was a trans-Atlantic paddle-steamer. On August 10 1845, among the passengers on board was a slave called Frederick Douglass who had escaped bondage. His autobiography had just become a bestseller. Slave-owners placed a price on his head and he was forced to flee the US. He headed for Ireland.
It was an eventful voyage, culminating in a mob attempt to throw Douglass overboard. The Cambria tells the story of how he survived to become what Abraham Lincoln called “the most impressive man I ever met”, and to become the rhetorical inspiration for Barack Obama in his campaign to become the 44th President of the United States of America.
The dogs must be crazy
From Grahamstown comes a satirical romp — from a dog’s eye view. Each episode takes a look at some of the pressing concerns of our age, with hilarious and heart-aching results. Based on an original concept by Mike van Graan, and bristling with humour, the show digs up many of our absurdities with an irreverent, energetic, and demandingly physical glee.