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German, Malawi theatre groups target exchange

COLLABORATION—Malawi and German team in a performance last week

McArthur Matukuta

A German theatre group—Theatre Erlebnis from Hannover has hinted on plans to have exchange programmes with theatre groups in Africa including Malawi.

The group last year performed in the country starring at the Easter Theatre Festival spearheaded by Solomonic Peacocks.

One of the members of the group, Tim von Kietzell, said Tuesday that they were looking at exchange programmes with theatre groups in Africa including Malawi.

The move also follows an invitation of three of the country’s actors – Mphundu Mjumira, Felistas Kamloni and Dipo Katimba to participate in a performance, discussions and workshops in Hannover last week.

Mjumira, Kamloni and Katimba alongside Maxwell Makande and Noah Bulambo are currently in Germany courtesy of Theatre Konstanz where they are working on a theatre project of a play King Baabu.

This is a play which was written by Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka but adapted for the stage by Theatre Konstanz.

However, due to Covid-19 pandemic, the play has not been premiered and instead it has been done for the radio.

Kietzell said:

“These last days we invited Mphundu, Felistas and Dipo to have a theatre exchange, we were happy to host them, we did workshops together and discussed work, challenges and visions. We are looking forward to have a Blantyre –Hannover cooperation”.

He said the exchange programme was an idea at the moment but they were looking forward to develop it.

“Last year, we came for Easter Theatre Festival, we stayed for six weeks in Malawi and then for seven months we also met several other artists in other Africa countries. It was a lovely experience and we would want to build this,” he said.

Kietzell hailed Solomonic Peacocks for inviting them to Easter Theatre Festival where they learned a lot.

“We want to continue working together for the growth of theatre in Africa and Europe. We know there is also a partnership of Theatre Konstanz and groups in Malawi but we want to add to that. We need an exchange of theatre in Africa,” he said.

Mjumira said they had a fruitful time last week participating in a worshop.

“The workshop was a research on finding a theme. We will do more and already we are looking at a team of myself, McArthur Matukuta and another artist from Burundi,” he said.

Matukuta said he was aware of the project and that they were looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, Mjuimra and team have said they were supposed to be home by now but cannot fly out since there were no flights to Malawi.

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