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Václav Havel's Play Protest Back in Harare

(This article expired 04.12.2013.)

The staging of a second Vaclav Havel play in Harare within a month was a resounding success. The performance was preceded by the unveiling of the bust of the late renowned Zimbabwean playwright and actor, Walter Muparutsa .

Two weeks after the Zimbabwean premiere of Vaclav Havel’s play “Audience”, the Harare theatre enthusiasts had an opportunity to sample the second part of Vanek’s trilogy - “Protest”. The play which was originally premiered at the Harare International Festival of Arts in 2010, through the facilitation and contribution of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Harare had its second premiere in front of a capacity crowd at Theatre in the Park.

The role of Vanek was played by Obrian Mudyiwenyama, while the role of Stanek was expertly performed by Zimbabwe’s theatre guru, Daves Guzha who also directed the play. The play was also successfully premiered in the Republic of South Africa during the course of the year.

It was a spectacular double bill thrown by Theatre in the Park, with the staging of the play being preceded by the unveiling of the bust of a Zimbabwean theatre phenomenon, Walter Muparutsa who died this year, aged 72. The occasion was graced by the Zimbabwean Minister of Education, Sports and Culture Hon. David Coltart and the Mayor of the City of Harare, His Worship Muchadeyi Masunda.

In his address to the audience, The Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Harare, Mr Petr Stary enlightened those in attendance about the atmosphere in Czechoslovakia in the seventies. This atmosphere is reflected in the partially auto-biographical Vanek trilogy.

The unfolding of the story left a trail that the Zimbabwean audience easily identified with judging by the audience’s positive reaction. This proves that the absurd atmosphere found in the then totalitarian society touches all humanity irrespective of origin.