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Gukurahundi tragedy to unfold on London stage

16 Sep

Gukurahundi tragedy to unfold on London stage

By Alex Bell   sw radio
16 September 2011
The human tragedy of the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s is set to be brought to life on a London stage, in a production inspired by the real life story of a survivor.The Rain That Washes opens at London’s Chickenshed Theatre at the end of September.
The one man play has been inspired by the story of the Theatre’s Building Supervisor, a Zimbabwean man called Christopher Maphosa.Three years ago, Christopher approached the Theatre’s Director of Creative Development, Dave Carey, to tell his story and how he saw Ian Smith’s Rhodesia become Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, including his memories of the Gukurahundi.Carey told SW Radio Africa on Friday that Christopher’s story is “extraordinary.”

“The more he was telling me, the more and more my jaw was just hanging open at this extraordinary story he was relating. So this became the catalyst to put it on stage,” Carey explained.

The play uses elements of Christopher’s journey, including living in refugee camps in Botswana, receiving Marxist training in Bulgaria, being beaten at the hands of Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU, being arrested by the notorious 5th Brigade, and surviving the Gukurahundi. Christopher was eventually able to flee Zimbabwe under Mugabe’s regime.

Carey said that the play is a “very moving and powerful piece of theatre,” that he explained has been created to reflect the journey of many people during the Gukurahundi.

“This is not an impersonation of Christopher, but potentially an everyman tale. We’ve also tried tie not make it a lecture, but make it a story. We hope the reaction will be positive,” Carey said.

The Chickenshed Theatres has been running for more than 30 years and is renowned for its work covering human rights issues and other difficult events.

The play opens on September 29th at the Theatre in North London. For more information and to buy tickets follow this link:
http://www.chickenshed.org.uk/1184/shows/the-rain-that-washes.html

 

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