Wedding Day, the witty, fast paced and engaging farcical theatre piece by the Zimbabwean playwright and performance artist, Patrick Mahlasera, is set to go regional this month following an invitation to the Drama For Life Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa from August 21-28.
The play is a product of the British Council sponsored Hi- Five Theatre Writing Project, an artist development programme which was initiated by The Harare International Festival Of The Arts (HIFA) in collaboration with Theory X Media.
Wedding Day premièred to rave reviews at HIFA 2007. That same year the play had a successful two week run at Harare’s Theatre In the Park. This is the first time that the play will be performed outside Zimbabwe after a three year lull.
“A performance of my play at the Drama For Life festival will mark my debut as an emerging writer/producer for theatre,” said an exuberant Mahlasera.
“Previously I have been involved in film producing however today I have written more theatre scripts which had been turned into successful productions locally. None of my plays have had a chance to be performed outside of Harare so this festival fulfills my desire to take these plays to different audiences. The best way for me to graduate from being just a writer is to become a writer/producer.”
Wedding Day is being directed by Elizabeth “Zaza” Muchemwa, a 2008 graduate in Performing Arts from Chipawo Academy of Arts. She has made her debut on the Zimbabwe arts scene by performing workplace theatre with Patsime Trust. Zaza also directed a play “Just Papers” at the Harare International Festival of the Arts(HIFA 2010) . Many would know “Zaza” as a spoken word artist who also plays the mbira.
This marks the second time that Mahlasera and Muchemwa are working together, their first project being “Just Papers” which Mahlasera wrote and Muchemwa directed as part of the Hifa-Direct Mentorship Programme 2010. Wedding day is a laugh-a-minute theatre comedy; in what looks like the perfect wedding ceremony of young virgins, a vicious struggle of conflicting individual agendas and ulterior motives erupts, and they have to keep-up appearances in front of the wedding guests.
As the day progresses, hidden agendas begin to emerge and as tensions rise at the high table, threats blackmail and persuasions are traded while the guests are none the wiser and continue to celebrate what is supposed to be a happy wedding day. The new version of the play stars Stewart Sakarombe as the pastor, Priscilla Mutendera as Tete, Francis Nyakuhwa as the groom and Rutendo Chigudu as Sabrina the cunning and devious Bride. Thandiwe Nyere is the production assistant and Patience Tawengwa is the Tour manager. Wedding Day will be performed at the Mannenburg from August 16-19 before leaving for the Drama for Life festival in South Africa.