Pressemitteilung zu WATER GAMES

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  • WATER GAMESAn Adaptation of Henrik Ibsens An Enemy of The People

    Written by Christopher Mlalazi

    Directed by Jens Vilela NeumannProduced by Jens Vilela Neumann Paradise Garden Production

    Production Manager Leeroy Gono

    CastKudzai Sevenzo, Michael Kudakwashe, Tichaona Mutore,

    Music: Cornelius Mupondirio,Kudzai Sevenzo

    Stage Design:Lena Newton

    Contact:0773055882/Leeroy/xpressivarts@gmail. com

    PREMIERE atHifa 2015

    Standard TheatreSunday 3 May19:00 - 20:00

  • Synopsis

    Water Games is the story of a Health Inspector who discovers that the drinking water of his town is contaminated by sewage from leaking sewer pipes and he wants the City Council to repair the sewer system to avert a looming disease outbreak. But the Minister does not like this exposure and calls the inspector an Enemy Of The People, which is the original Henrik Ibsen title of the play.

    What Brought by German Director Jens Vilela Neumann, this fresh adaptation of Ibsens An Enemy Of The People, written by award winning playwright/novelist Christopher Mlalazi, is an interrogation of the perennial drinking water challenges plaguing most communities on the continent. It is not only the dirty water coming from the taps, beyond is another world where its dog eat dog and God save us all.


    After the successful theatrical works with local actors and musician on social critical plays in Mocambique and Angola Mr. Neumann met Christopher Mlalalzi at a reading of his Running with Mother in Berlin. Dr. Julius Heinicke from Free University of Berlin Institute of Theatre Science introduced them to each other which was the kick of for a long research on issues that could be of relevance to Zimbabwean society.When Mr. Neumann came across Ibsens An enemy of the people he send it to Christopher who was immediately enthusiastic. It is important to highlight the international dimension of the work, the projects links to the initiatives of Paradise Garden Productions in Mocambique and Angola, which had similar formats and social references. Besides the Premiere at HIFA and a tour in Zimbabwe it is the aim to bring the Water Games to

    Sponsored by: AKTION AFRIKA

    Partners:German Embassy Harare Zimbabwe German Society HIVOS / Norwegen Embassy Expressive Arts / HIFA Sunlight Pictures

  • Water Games Profiles: Jens Vilela Neumann

    First and foremost, I am a theatre director; my extensive acting, authorial and filmmaking experience enriches my directorial work. Although I like to write and develop my own projects, I also enjoy staging plays written by others and reinterpreting their works along new themes. My work, informed by numerous cultural contexts, incorporates a diverse range of performers with various professional and national backgrounds: actors from large city theatres, actors from the alternative theatre scene, professional dancers, the physically and mentally disabled, Eastern Europeans working in German, unemployed Berlin youth, pensioners, and Portuguese-speaking actors from Mozambique and Angola. My body of work thus far has entailed the interplay of two thematic threads. First the timeless philosophical tropes such as identity, love, death and transcendence. The second consists of current social and political conflicts. My works should serve as a stimulus- to reflect, to ponder, to reconsider. Besides my artistic works I produce via Paradise Garden Productions / Berlin.

    Water Games Profiles: Christopher Mlalazi

    I have previously opened two plays at HIFA, in 2010 and 2011 under the British Council HIFA DIRECT project. The one in 2010 was titled ELECTION DAY, and it went on to win a NAMA award for Best Theatrical Production of that year. Election Day was a self adaptation of one of my short stories going by the same title and taken off my short story collection, Dancing With Life, which also won a NAMA award in 2008 for Best First Published Book. The other play was titled COLORS OF DREAMS, and this one, even if it did not win any award, was reputed to be a crowd favorite during its run at HIFA and Theatre In The Park after HIFA. Both plays were political satires, with Election Day questioning elections and the way they are conducted in an imaginary African nation, and with COLORS OF DREAMS putting on the platform a debate on the value of currency (money) in societies.

    In Mocambique I staged Rui o Rei da Rua on theever-increasing gap between rich and poor atAvenida Theatre in Maputo, The Visit of the Old Lady by Friedrich Drrenmatt about corruption and themultimedia play Identity- a Bloody Romancewhichportraits200 year of german andmocambiquen history. With Miguel K. quer Justica I realised a theatre performance of Heinrich Kleists short novel Michael Kohlhaas in Angola. The Theatre piece touches upon many issues which are very relevant in postcolonial Africa, such as freedom, the rule of law, and revolution.

  • Christopher Mlalazi on Collaboration

    Our collaboration on Water Games is heaven sent, as the question of the provision of safe drinking water in most African countries is topical. If its not safe drinking water, it is water shortages from drought or mismanagement by water authorities.

    Christopher Mlalazi on writing a adaptation

    Doing the adaptation was an interesting exercise for me, because for a start, I had to cut out material from the original story that could last for one hour on stage, and that was not an easy task as the original text is voluminous. So I had to be very careful in choosing what I wanted to use, and that meant reading the book twice, and literally lay all the text on an operating table to go about my surgery of cutting out what I wanted and throwing away the rest. I also had to reduce the original cast of ten or more people to just four guys, and that was another tough one. The original plot in An Enemy Of The People is of a doctor who discovers that the water being pumped into the towns public baths is contaminated with infusoria, and wants the Mayor to close the baths so that repairs can be done to the water pipes, but in my adaptation I decided to make this water the towns drinking water and not the baths, because of the personal experience of sometimes seeing dirty colored water coming from the water taps at home in Bulawayo which we were afraid of, not knowing if it could make us sick or not, but the city council authorities always said the discolored water was not dangerous for human consumption. So that is the direction I took the adaptation, to speak against this ineptitude of the relevant authorities in providing communities with clean and safe drinking water, which is a basic right.


    Kudzai Sevenzo

    Kudzai is a multi-talented artist who has successfully built a brand for herself as a musician, actress, radio and TV hostess. Her career was launched by Mnets Project Fame, a talent show in which proudly represented her country, among 12 hopefuls across the continent. Her acting debut in a feature film Playing Warriors in which she played the lead earned her 3 Pan-African nominations. She was nominated for AMMA (Africa Movie Academy Awards) for best actress in a lead role, NEA (Nigerian Entertainment Awards) and won an award at Shungu Namutitiwa International Film Festival, Zambia for best lead actress. She has worked with the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi on her second album, Child of Africa.

    Michael S. Kudakwashe

    Michael K, as he is popularly known is a talented and versatile theatre, film and TV actor, voice over artist and acclaimed comedian and caricaturist. A National Arts and Merit Award (NAMA) winner, Michael Ks experience spans well over a decade and a half. Michael Ks experience, creativity and acting ability have made him a house-hold name. Some of his work include, Harvest of Thorns, When Angels Weep, Roki and Maneta encounter, Burn Mukwerekwere Burn, Great Escape, The Island, Zambezi News, Tanyaradzwa among other shows. He has also built a reputation as a stand-up comedian where he has succeeded in maintaining a strong profile in Zimbabwe, keeping the audiences laughing in good times and bad.

  • Tichaona Mutore

    The National Arts and Merit Awards Nominee for Best actor 2014 in the production Maids, Tichaona started acting in the year 2000 and has never looked back. He has starred in theatre, radio and TV productions. Some of his work include, Verses, Silent Words, Suburb D, On the Money, among others. Tich is a versatile young actor amassed a lot of experience with working with some of the top directors in the country and his hard work has certainly paid off.

    Cornelius Muponda

    A Music Director at Alexio Entertainment, also known as 3Dkeys because of the sound that he makes when he plays the keyboards and Piano, Cornelius has given a fresh sound to the group Shades of Black. He has produced a number of hit tracks like Chihwande hwande, Save, Chipo Changu by Alexio Kawara from his recent album Tose. Some of his work include a Musical Play at Heritage School. A multi-talented musician, Muponda can also play a number of instruments like the Bass guitar and he has gained a lot of knowledge and musical experience from working with different musicians and also church.

  • Leeroy Gono

    Leeroy certainly needs no introduction to the theatre circles. One of the most consistent directors over the past few years, Gono has directed shows at Hifa since 2007. Some of his products are the much-acclaimed, The Gods Youve Built, The Greyman Experiment, The Comeback, Revolution Avenue among others. The award winning director has managerial role experience spanning over a decade. He was the Head Project manager at Theory X Media, the Resident Artistic Director for the Charles Austin Theatre and is now a Produce