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Homework for Young Travellers

Young Travellers Theatre returned to the stage on Friday to premiere their second play The Beautiful Hen Behind The Yowo Mountain at HS Winehouse in Blantyre.

HS Winehouse is the venue where the group debuted with Elections Day last year, winning the hearts of many people.

Elections Day, which speaks volumes of what happened during the 2014 Tripartite Elections in the country, went on to earn the group a place in the Superior Drama competition to be held in Lilongwe next month.

And, having done well with Elections Day, expectations were high that they would shine once again.

But they did not, as their play needs more life. The story is weak and some of the scenes should be discarded.

This is a play that was written by Imran Shaban, who is the brains behind Elections Day.

The play, set in a lakeshore area dominated by the Yao, tackles the issue of love, among others.

It tells the story of a couple of Amadu and Aswema, who are deeply in love and end up impregnating each other.

But their plan to marry goes up in flames after it is learnt that they were brother and sister.

Young Travellers used the style used in Elections Day. It was the same style used by schools during Association of Teaching of English in Malawi (Atem) competition plays, which normally have freezing elements.

The group needs to move out of this box and play it professional. That said, Young Travellers has shown it has the power and strength to go all the way as indicated by their seriousness to stage a second play.

Some es tabl ished groups are failing to come out with plays while others have been forgotten.

The level of acting was also not at par in the play where some rose to the occasion while others only memorised the lines with little action in them.

There is room for improvement for the group, who should polish and tighten the script and do more in terms of rehearsals.

“We are happy that we have come out with a new play. Basically, the story is looking into the behavior of some men, who father children without taking up responsibility,” Shaban said.

He said he was happy to get mixed reactions from people.

“We are not stopping here; this just the beginning. There is more to offer and we promise people more productions,” he said.

The youthful theatre group, which started in 2012, failed to pull a huge audience.

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