This is an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play, an Enemy Of The People. We have re-titled the adaptation Water Games. The central theme is a looming health hazard facing an unnamed city where a dam that is supplying it with drinking water has been contaminated by waste material from leaking sewer pipes. A doctor from the city’s health department, who is the protagonist, has discovered this hazard through lab testing of this water, and he takes his results to the Mayor with recommendations on how this disaster can be averted, but the Mayor, who is his brother, accuses the doctor of being an alarmist and an enemy of the people.
This central theme runs concurrent with situations prevailing in the developing world where economically disadvantaged citizenry find themselves faced with dirty drinking water coming out of their water taps, and if it is not this dirty water, it is acute water shortages. But, as the play points out at it’s resolution, it is not the dirty water only facing citizens, but other dirty games from authorities who are tasked with the responsibility of supplying cities with clean and healthy drinking water who are benefiting financially from this state of affairs, as in the case in our play, the Mayor, who has a thriving bottled water business that would be ruined if the city were to get clean water.
The play is an hour long, and employs multi media – film and live music. It had it’s premiere at the HIFA Festival, toured Germany (München, Rostock, Greifswald, Jena, Konstanz) and was invited to the prestigious „Ibsen Festival“ in Oslo.
In the city of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, the theatre production Water Games, which is an adaptation of H. Ibsen’s ‘An Enemy Of The People,’ is raising awareness on the controversial issue of safe drinking water delivery to communities by responsible authorities.
Question’s come to mind, but why talk about drinking water in modern day Zimbabwe, reputed to be the leading intellectual powerhouse on the African continent? How free is freedom of expression in the country, and how can such a theatre performance be entertaining but also asking uncomfortable questions at the same time?
Some of these questions are answered in the documentary through interviews of ordinary citizens faced with this plight, while some are left answered so that they can engage the audiences of the production into debate.
But, can art change behavior and perceptions in society? This is one of the most important questions the play poses to its audiences.
Written by Christopher Mlalazi
Directed by Jens Vilela Neumann
Produced by Paradise Garden Production
Production Manager: Leeroy Gono
Cast: Kudzai Sevenzo, Michael Kudakwashe, Tichaona Mutore,
Music: Cornelius Mupondirio, Kudzai Sevenzo
Stage Design: Lena Newton
Kleist’s novel sheds light on the “spiral of injustice”, telling the story of the good, honest citizen Michael Kohlhaas, a simple man who takes justice in his own hands when he is confronted with arbitrary rule and injustice. The celebrated Angolan author José Eduardo Agualusa has adapted Kleist’s novel to reflect current, local conditions. Although Kleist’s novel has rarely been performed in an African context, it touches upon many issues which are very relevant in postcolonial Africa, such as freedom, the rule of law, and revolution. Artistic cooperation as equals between Angolan and German artists is rare, although it is this that enables them to overcome clichés and address political discourses. Combining acting, live music, and film, the performance at Teátro Elinga received standing ovations.
Directing & Concept: JENS VILELA NEUMANN Producer: ORLANDO SÉRGIO HENRIQUES DE MACEDO AZEVEDO & LENA VIEBROCK Actors: VIRGILIO JOSÉ ANTÓNIO & RAUL JORGE RESENDE DE BARROS ROSÁRIO & CLAUDIA PUCUTA & ORLANDO SÉRGIO HENRIQUES DE MACEDO AZEVEDO Music: JOÃO DA FONSECA FERNANDES DA COSTA & LUIS PEDRO MANUEL DA FONSECA Costume:PAULO JORGE AVEIRO BOLOTA Powered by Auswärtige Amt in Luanda Angola With support of: Lufthansa, Krone, Elektra, LSG, Jägermeister, Palntec, Alliance Francaise de Luanda
Corruption is one of the largest political and social problems of our time, one that is globally on the rise. A traveller passing through Mozambique or walking through Maputo will be quick to recognize the sheen of the past on many of the buildings and places there. As in Dürrenmatt’s small town of Güllen, decay is widespread here, for in the wake of the war for independence and civil conflicts Mozambique counts among the poorest countries in the world. However, this nation currently nurtures big hopes of blossoming: large deposits of raw materials have been discovered in the north, and there are plans to extract these in the near future.
This adaptation of Dürrenmatt’s classic features eight actors and musicians from the Teatro Avenida as they explore the pressing social dilemmas entangled within the intricate Mozambican web: corruption pervading large-scale politics and spreading to civilian life, urgent questions of right and wrong, a lack of economic and intellectual freedom, rampant capriciousness and irresponsibility. One of the poorest countries in the world is about to start afresh- who will profit from the new riches?
Credits: Direction: Jens Vilela Neumann Actors: Lucrécia Paco / Adelino Branquinho/ Graça Silva / Jorge Vaz / Nelson Faquir / Assado Lichane / Sérgio Muiambo / Timóteo Cuche / Alcídio Pires Technician: Alfredo Semo Dramaturgy: Manuela Soeiro Lighting Concept: Matthias Henckel Stage and Costume Design: Katja Reetz Translations: Margarida de Sousa Vilela Subsidized by the Foreign Bureau of the Federal Republic of Germany, Aktion Afrika and the Swiss Embassy in cooperation with the ICMAA Maputo and the Teatro Avenida Maputo