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No Easter Theatre Festival this year

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The Easter Theatre Festival spearheaded by Solomonic Peacocks and debuted last year will not take place this year.

Solomonic Peacocks Director McArthur Matukuta confirmed on Sunday that the festival will not take place this year because of inadequate funding.

“We regret to announce that the 2016 Easter Theatre Festival will not take place. This is because we do not have enough funding but the festival will come back next year,” said Matukuta.

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He said the festival was expected to be held from March 25 through to March 28.

“We did not raise enough money so we could not go ahead. At the moment we still owe some artists money for last year’s performance so we didn’t want to put ourselves in another fix.

But let me put it clear that it is not the end of the festival, it’s just a break for this year and next year we are coming back,” said the Solomonic Peacocks Director, who is also former National Theatre Association of Malawi president.

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He said just to show that the festival was still on, they have already set the dates for the 2017 festival revealing that it will take place from April 14 through to April 17.

“This break in 2016, will also give us enough time to prepare, fix the problems we had and then come back bigger and better in 2017,” he said.

Matukuta said that it was not easy to run a festival and that the biggest challenge they face is that the corporate world is not forthcoming to support the creative industry.

“We are looking forward to improve the brand of the festival, and currently we are looking at getting volunteers who will drive the festival. Solomonic Peacoks is a non-governmental organisation but we want a separate team that will work on fundraising for the festival and write proposals to companies among others,” he said.

Matukuta also said that they are working on a logo of the festival.

The festival last year opened with some performances in Lilongwe before the main event at Blantyre Cultural Centre.

Last year the festival saw performances from several theatre groups including Zambian comedians Bikiloni and Difikoti and locals Izeki ndi Jakobo.

Matukuta said this year they will continue with their different activities apart from preparing the Easter Theatre Festival.

“We have lots of activities on the ground, apart from the Easter Theatre Festival, Solomonic Peacocks will stage plays which we are working on at the moment and again we will also continue with the theatre classes where we are training youth,” he said.

Last year Nanzikambe Arts also cancelled the 2015 Mwezi Wawala Festival and it is not yet clear whether the event will be held this year.

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