Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Mama Africa, March 22, 2006

 Memories of the Struggle  
by Mama Africa Theatre Company (South Africa)
Commonwealth Games Arts Festival
Federation Square and Central Lawn, Alexander Gardens, until March 26, 2006
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on March 22, 2006

The teenagers in Mama Africa Theatre Company from South Africa, come from Kliptown and disadvantaged circumstances. Their show is a celebration of their youth, their energy and their commitment to use their talents to tell stories about the painful struggle of Africa.

The show is a mixture of song, dance, character and ingenious but simple design.
With hand-held signs, they set the time and place of various moments in the African struggle.

At the opening, a young girl calls, “I’ve lost my youth! I’ve lost my innocence!” Their song, Where are the Flowers, is a lament about lost joy, lost land and – yes - lost innocence.

These young people are passionate and delightful. Their dancing and singing has a wild and joyous edge and their characters are charming and funny as well as evoking more the more difficult times of the past in Africa.

The group performs under difficult circumstances without any microphones in an outdoor location. This means that some of their dialogue is inaudible but their vitality and their message gets through nonetheless.

By Kate Herbert

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