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Chanco Travelling Theatre drops 2 books

Chancellor College (Chanco) Travelling Theatre led by renowned dramatist, Smith Likongwe, has published two books of plays The Chief’s Blanket and Other Plays and Living Playscripts: A Trilogy.

Likongwe said on Monday that the two books were ready and that they will be launched this coming Sunday at Blantyre Sports Club.

The books which were launched internally at Chancellor College in Zomba on April 22, will also be launched in Lilongwe.

Living Playscripts: A Trilogy contains a Malawian trilogy of the lives and times of three of the country’s Presidents, namely; Bakili Muluzi, the late Bingu wa Mutharika and Joyce Banda.

“It is not a book of history but rather it is a book of plays involving real-life personalities with real issues and situations being presented on stage,” Likongwe said.

He said the title Living Playscripts is derived from the fact that the plays stem from lives and decisions that affect real people during and after the reigns of the three leaders.

In the book, there are three plays – Bakili’s Wit, The Tragedy of Bingu and Amai’s Turn.

In The Chief ’s Blanket and Other plays, there are six plays written by budding and established playwrights.

“Inspite of the existence of formal education in Malawi, the country has largely remained an oral society with very little of its activities published. There are many plays created by Malawians but they are only performed and forgotten,” he said.

Likongwe said through this book, Chanco Travelling Theatre took advantage of the Cultural Fund Malawi driven by Hivos and funded by Royal Norwegian Embassy to make its contribution towards preserving some of the country’s traditions and cultural activities and beliefs in the form of stage plays.

He said the plays in the book embrace the identity of Malawian culture where dialogue is usually embellished with figurative language rich in metaphor, allusion and trope.

Some of the playwrights who have contributed their work are Zondiwe Mbano with The Return, Bennie Msuku’s (The White Cloth) and Linda Tembo with Ours Is Alive.

According to Likongwe, the two books have been printed in South Africa.

He said the books will also be important in that they can also be turned into movies and that this was their next move.

Theatre maestro, the late Du Chisiza Jr, also took time out to publish some of his plays.

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