SEP 27 - OCT 29
various dates and times, 75 mins
International theatre company Bilimankhwe Arts presents their new production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, directed by artistic director Kate Stafford and designed by Hazel Albarn, on UK tour in Autumn 2017.
This powerful, passionate and magical production features stunning contemporary African choreography from Shyne Phiri, with an original soundtrack which samples traditional Malawian music. Full of humour and movement, the show is fast paced, urban and exciting.
The Tempest is about patriarchy, colonialism and power, with a multi-racial cast of Native English speakers for Prospero, Miranda, Ferdinand, Trinculo and Stephano, and Native Chichewa speakers for Caliban and Ariel. By bringing together artists from Africa and Europe, the company uses the best from both continents to both entertain and move audiences. The Tempest is supported by Africa Express and Arts Council England.
Bilimankhwe, set up in 2006 by Kate Stafford and Gideon Kagoya, uses contemporary British and African performance styles to challenge attitudes towards race and culture. Projects include; After Mikuyu, life story of dissident poet Jack Mapanje; Love on Trial, an adaptation of Stanley Onjezani Kenani’s Caine Prize nominated story; Brothers in Blood and Elusive Spring by Mike Van Graan, a collaboration with UK Arts International and the Afrovibes Festival. This year Bilimankhwe developed a Chichewa language version of Romeo and Juliet, which has been published and performed across Malawi.
Designer Hazel Albarn is a visual artist, sculptor and set designer. She started her career creating The Shakespeare Exhibition in Stratford on Avon in 1964, then ran 26 Kingly Street with her partner Keith Albarn; it was an environmental gallery in the centre of London where a group of artists created walk-in environments and installations; they hosted poetry readings and experimental music artists (Malcolm McLaren first exhibited there), and took the work out to public places, festivals and theatres.
“moments of shocking frustration and touching humanity” Time Out London on Bilimankhwe’s And Crocodiles are Hungry at Night