Theatre Review: Fes’bhuku
Theatre In The Park has had a strong 2011 after the lull in the presentation of the art-form for years for various reasons. This year alone they to staged or played host to 13 plays in all, which is about one play every month.
The last of that lot is a highly entertaining and cleverly written Fes’bhuku. As the name suggests it centres around Facebook, the social media site that is the centre of an unraveling story at a growth point. Marvelous (Teddy Mangawa) who has been posting a few messages that his wife played by Judith Tsoka has found a bit disturbing. This view is shared by his business partner played by Charles Matare. Throw in the headmaster (Tafadzwa Hananda who doubles as a blind beggar) and his wife(Nyasha Chagonda) into the mix and the story becomes more engaging and expansive. So poor old Marvelous’s wife steals his password which he has written down on a yellow piece of paper and we are taken on his quest to get his password back.
The comic timing is brilliant and on the whole the performances are more than adequate for the play.
I did pick up though that the device used by the director and the actor for the headmaster and the blind beggar didn’t help define them as separate and individual characters. Their characters are almost the same right down to facial expressions.
Also in the story itself, while on the whole entertaining, it is loaded with political undertones. Where it fails is its lack of understand ofwhat Facebook is and is merely a mainstream presentation of what the social media site stands for. Its inspiration is the arrest earlier this year of a man who made comments on his Facebook profile that the state didn’t quite fancy. While it is a political view, it exists in a bubble.
This doesn’t mean that this takes anything away from it being an entertaining piece of art. Chris Mlalazi’s script is aesthetically brilliant and Daniela Maposa’s directing complimentary. Add to that, a convincing set design and you have a show.
Fes’bhuku is a Savanna Trust Project. It runs every day at 5.30pm until the 17th of December at Theatre In The Park except for Sunday and Monday.