On Sunday 28thFebruary, Utopia Theatre Company hosted their next rehearsed reading of the year, ‘And the Girls in their Sunday Dresses’ by Zakes Mda via Zoom.
Introduced by Artistic Director Mojisola Elufowoju, it was expressed that there is a duty to show the diversity of Africa, and that plays from West, South, East and North Africa will be showcased within the following months. Dr Kene Igweonu, President of the African Theatre Association followed with context about the show, written before the Apartheid’s end; shows during this time typically were prophetic, looking towards the future. The show was initially shown in the UK in 1988 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Perfromed by Tatenda Naomi Matsvai who took on the role of The Lady and Sabrina Richmond as The Woman, viewers watched on as the pair encapsulated the hostile political landscape, waiting in line for their turn to purchase rice. The Lady’s resourcefulness and free nature contrasted with the Woman’s realism and determination highlighted the voices of the unheard, both women incredibly strong in terms of the circumstances they’ve had to over come, both performers working brilliantly together to realise the reality of their situation.
The evening concluded with a Q & A session with Dr Kene Igweonu, informing us of the creative process in a new digitised normal. A reference was made to the show predominantly being based within a queue, highlighting the slowness of bearucracy and drawing parallels to our new normal of having to wait in line to access what would have once before been easily accessible. A thought provoking evening and a great starting point as a viewer in terms of gaining knowledge about African plays available.
Written by Lucy Basaba.
To find out more about Utopia Theatre’s work, visit here…
To read our interview with Utopia Theatre Artistic Director Mojisola Elufowoju, visit here…