Young Travellers restages ‘Bakili’s Wit’
Young Travellers Theatre on Sunday returned to the stage after a long break due to Covid-19 pandemic to stage Bakili’s Wit at Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC).
The group premiered the play— which depicts the life and times of the country’s former president Bakili Muluzi— at Jacaranda Cultural Centre in Blantyre in January this year.
Young Travellers Theatre adapted the play from a book Living Playscripts, which renowned dramatist Smith Likongwe wrote.
The performance— which was spiced up by comics from Che Muthinda, Mulukunyu, among others— attracted a sizeable audience that included Likongwe, Muluzi’s relatives and other players in the creative industry.
The fact that the youthful group adapted the play and decided to stage it is something commendable.
However, the cast should tighten the production because, at some point, the actors were not at par. There is also a need for more research to enrich the production.
The director of the play Imran Shaban, who is also the man behind many of the group’s productions, should breathe more life into the play.
On top of that, they still need to change some of the characters, some of them played a number of roles.
There is also a lot of singing and dancing in the play and the cast needs to work on their voices to sing with power and perfection, which lacks throughout.
The almost one-and-a-half play ends with a scene where Muluzi hands over the mantle to the late Bingu wa Mutharika.
Some of the characters that make up the play include Muluzi as the main man, the late Chakufwa Chihana and Kamlepo Kalua.
Likongwe said, after the performance, that he was delighted that the group was able to restage the play.
“I am happy that they attempted to do it because we, as writers, write so that these works are brought to the people. Obviously I am also a director and, so, if I were to direct it, I would do it differently but there would have been small differences. There is an improvement from the first production and I am sure that, if they were to do it again, there would be more improvements,” he said.
With so many plays to his credit, Likongwe, who is also a drama lecturer at Chancellor College, said there is a lot of potential from the young actors.
He said he would continue to document stories of leaders.
Likongwe is set to launch the book Southern African Plays II next year.
Young Travellers Theatre was expected to share the stage with Logos Theatre on the day but they failed due to Covid-19 restrictions.