Blantyre-based youthful group YDC Theatre has cancelled the John Chilembwe play Operation Mandala which it was supposed to restage at Golden Peacock in Blantyre today.
The play, which was part of celebrating the life of John Chilebwe with the country commemorating Chilembwe Day today, will now be staged virtually, resources permitting.
Fumbani Phiri, who wrote and directed the play, said they could not go ahead with the production due to rising cases of Covid-19.
“We planned this production long time ago and, having also staged it last year, we thought we should do it again, having breathed in life and also done more research following suggestions from people last year,” Phiri said.
He said the only option for them now is to hold a virtual performance via Facebook live and YouTube.
“We will think outside the box, especially with the pandemic blocking our space and bringing fear. We are also looking at staging monologue performances of five to 10 minutes. I am currently working on 15 monologue scripts based on politics, gender-based violence, rape, Covid-19 and human rights,” Phiri said.
He said they will have limited time to craft such performances as a group but will just need to adapt to the situation.
“We also opted for audio-theatre series but we thought it might require a lot of technical support but, all in all, we will try our level best,” Phiri said.
Apart from the Chilembwe play, the group has in the past staged Walking Kamuzu, which tells the story of the country’s first president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda.