Next month the Globe to Globe Festival 2012 kicks off and will be hosting multiple shows throughout April running all the way into June. Coming all the way from Zimbabwe, Two Gents Productions will present ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ over two dates in May. This FABulous production will be performed in Shona.
Wednesday 9 May 2.30pm
Thursday 10 May 7.30pm
Vakomana Vaviri ve Zimbabwe, a stunning African version of Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona, is a two-man Zimbabwean riot of love, friendship and betrayal. From Verona to Milan, via Harare and Bulawayo, two great friends, Valentine and Proteus, vie for the love of the same woman. When Valentine is banished, their friendship is threatened and only through disguise, deception and intrigue are they reconciled. In a broad, loud, triumphantly energetic ‘township’ style the two actors slip into all of the play’s fifteen characters – from amorous suitors to sullen daughters, depressed servants and even a dog.
Using little to no props, a few items of clothing and a set that consists of no more than a trunk, the actors explore the text’s nuances from a distinctly Zimbabwean perspective, bringing Shakespeare’s verse to life in this new, specially commissioned Shona translation. With a watchful eye, great intuition and comic timing, the actors Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyevu draw the audience into the action and create a soulful and engaging theatrical experience not to be missed.
Two Gents Productions is a Zimbabwean theatre company based in London, and founded in February 2008. It is composed of the actors Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyebvu, and the director Arne Pohlmeier. The company’s aim is to present Shakespeare in new and unfamiliar ways by fusing it with contemporary Zimbabwean performance modes of storytelling, improvisation, mime and dance. The company’s fast paced, minimalist approach influenced by South African protest plays such as Woza Albert!, The Island and Sizwe Banzi is Dead, lends itself beautifully to the language of Shakespeare.
The company members’ individual cultural backgrounds, their experience of migration and audience-centred, physically engaging yet technically minimalist style infuse all Two Gents’ productions. To date the company has presented in London and the UK: Two Gentlemen of Verona, Kupenga Kwa Hamlet and Magetsi. Vakomana Vaviri ve Zimbabwe at Shakespeare’s Globe is the first full length Shona language production.
Shona is a Bantu language, native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe and southern Zambia; the term is also used to identify peoples who speak one of the Shona language dialects: Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika, Ndau and Korekore. Shona is a principal language of Zimbabwe, along with Ndebele and and the official business language, English. Shona is spoken by a large percentage of the people in Zimbabwe. Other countries that host Shona language speakers are Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique.
Shona is the Bantu language most widely spoken as a native language. According to Ethnologue, Shona comprising the Karanga, Zezuru, and Korekore dialects, is spoken by about 10.8 million people.
There are nearly 50,000 Zimbabweans living in the UK.
Tickets for Globe to Globe start at just £5, and a series of multibuy schemes are in place, including the Yard Olympian which will allow you to see all 38 productions for just £100. Full details can be found at the end of this release.
For further information on Globe to Globe please contact Stephen Pidcock or Charlotte Bayley at The Corner Shop PR on 020 7494 3665 /by