The tempest (2017)
by William Shakespeare. Directed by Kate Stafford.
This lively, musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s last play featured the stunning contemporary African dance choreography of Shyne Phiri, and original music by Frederick Rich and Ben Makhamba. Designed by Hazel Albarn, this was our largest production to date, incorporating dancers, musicians and actors from Malawi and the UK. This adaptation focused on the themes of patriarchy, colonialism and power, and was performed in both English and Chichewan. The production enjoyed a large and successful tour of 15 venues across the UK.
Romeo and Juliet/Romio ndi julietti (MALAWIAN TOUR 2016)
by William Shakespeare. Translated into Chichewan by Stanley Onjezani Kenani. Directed by Amy Bonsall.
Originally commissioned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, a work-in-progress was performed by a Malawian cast in the gardens of Hall's Croft in Stratford-upon-Avon IN 2012. In April 2016, we asked Malawian poet Stanley Onjezani Kenani to work on an all-new Chichewan translation of the play. This was published in Malawi in 2016 by Dzuka Publishing Co. Ltd, and a new production opened in Mzuzu which toured throughout Malawi to village, secondary school and university audiences, drawing huge crowds.
Brothers in Blood (2014-2015)
by Mike Van Graan. Directed by Amy Bonsall
IIn October and November 2014, we worked with award-winning South African playwright Mike Van Graan, presenting rehearsed readings of two of his plays: Brothers in Blood and Elusive Spring. The readings were presented as part of the Afrovibes Festival 2014, hosted by UK Arts International. Following this, a full production of Brothers in Blood opened at the festival at Stratford Circus in London, then toured to Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Birmingham.
And Crocodiles Are Hungry At Night (2012-2013)
adapted by Kate Stafford from the memoir by Jack Mapanje.
2012 saw the culmination of a six-year collaboration with celebrated Malawian poet and ex-prisoner of conscience Jack Mapanje. The collaboration began with a production of After Mikuyu at Ovalhouse in 2006, and concluded with Kate Stafford's adaptation of Mapanje's prison memoir. And Crocodiles are Hungry at Night premiéred in Blantyre, Malawi at the Nanzikambe Theatre Space, and subsequently toured Malawi, London (Africa Centre) and Stratford.
Love On Trial (2013)
adapted by Roe Lane from a short story by Stanley Kenani.
Love on Trial highlights the hypocrisy of Western countries imposing ideals on poorer countries that they do not follow themselves. It intercuts material from award-winning Malawian writer Stanley Kenani's Caine Prize-nominated story of illegal homosexuality in Malawi with the press frenzy surrounding British singer George Michael's 1998 arrest for 'lewd conduct' in an LA public toilet. Love On Trial was commissioned by and co-produced with Ovalhouse, as one of the productions chosen for their 50th Anniversary season.