Directed by John R. Wilkinson and performed by Munyevu and Millicent Chapanda. The autobiographical play about growing up in 1980’s Zimbabwe following independence opens at York Theatre Royal on 14 September, with previews from 9 September, until 18 September, with tour dates for 2022 to be announced.
Tonderai Munyevu was born in 1982 Zimbabwe, what they call the “born frees” – one of the generation born in the 1980s after independence.
He tells us how the first cracks of prosperous Zimbabwe’s decline began to appear in the 1990s, and how he emigrated with his mother to England, where he has since remained. How his father lost his job at the hands of a white man, and how this changed both their lives irrevocably, until his father’s death prompted Tonderai to question his identity and what it means to return ‘home’.
Interspersing his dialogue with the audience are Robert Mugabe’s speeches: ranging from the 1980s figure in a Savile Row suit to the bitter and derisive missives from the 1990s, up until 2017 when Mugabe was ousted by a political coup.
ETT have just completed the tour of their outdoor performance space, Trailer Story, which visited Newcastle and Keswick, and featured performances by Testament, Tim Crouch, Grace Savage, Lung Theatre and Nouveau Riche, and this year they also released That Podcast – a twelve part magazine-style podcast series, with guest hosts Remona Aly, Desiree Burch and Sophie Duker, Nish Kumar, Terry Gilliam and Chris McCausland, that tells the story of a nation and a world in rapid transition featuring over 100 artists, commentators and thought leaders, and Children’s Children – a series of five monologues, curated by Amber James, exploring the interaction of the past with the present and celebrating Black history. Both series’ are available in full here: https://ett.org.uk/