A presentation of exciting and varied work, tiata delights 2011 took place at the Africa Centre, Covent Garden.


message, Lizzie Dijeh – Ghosts of the Biafran war and the changing face of 21st Century Extremism collide head-on when London youngster Aras, on his uncle’s insistence joins the Igbo Cultural Alliance who are hell bent on reclaiming all of Nigeria’s oil wealth – at any cost. Aras is forced to confront not only the truth of his own identity but truths hidden and unspoken in his own family. Lizzie Dijeh’s sophisticated drama examines the shifting sands of multiculturalism and tribalism against the backdrop of contemporary London life.

tamba tamba with live music from James Lascelles – Kutamba–Shona (spoken predominantly in Zimbabwe) ‘To play’; or ‘to dance’. Ergo ‘Tamba-Tamba’ – ‘Play-play’. Take one willing company of actors and lock them in a rehearsal room for a couple of days. Allow a generous mix of themes and styles. Add copious amounts of inspiration at regular intervals. Dust with theatrical sparkle and serve to a hungry audience. Lucian Msamati leads a superb team of performers in a couple of nights of devised and improvised theatre.

mango and here, Eve Ensler  in mango, Gerard wants to interview a rape victim in the Congo. He meets Eugenia who ‘ticks all the boxes’. However Eugenia just wants to talk about mangoes… A play originally commissioned by YaD Arts and the JCC for London as part of the Other Seder 2011: 4 Plays about Freedom. In here, a well-to-do couple enjoy a snack at home when a strange, younger couple appear in their home with no immediate rhyme or reason. Who are they? Why do they seem familiar? What do they want and why do they refuse to go away? Two contrasting plays by the acclaimed author of The Vagina Monologues that challenge hypocrisy, perception, relevance and identity in the modern world. With many thanks to Eve Ensler, Tony Montenieri and all at V-Day

the epic adventure, Denton Chikura – Nhamo is a simple goat-herd whose world is turned upside down when he ‘discovers’ the comely Chipo taking her daily swim and promptly falls in love. Winning her hand however is no easy task; especially since there is a Narrator who has already sold the TV rights of Nhamo’s story to ITV… Zimbabwean writer and actor Denton Chikura gives the African Fairytale a 21st Century makeover with his unique blend of anarchic wit, theatricality and smart satire.

the strong room, JC Niala – A botched burglary, some dodgy architecture and a power cut, find a wealthy widow and her would-be attacker trapped in the ‘Panic Room’ of a comfortable suburban home in Nairobi, Kenya.  Is it fight or flight? JC Niala’s adaptation of her award-winning radio play is a witty and gritty take on modern Kenyan life.

memory play – The year is 1830. Shaka Zulu, legendary Warrior-King is on the brink of conquering the Ndwandwe Kingdom and continuing his inexorable march northwards across the Limpopo river. Standing in his way is Molife the last Ndwandwe Prince… The only problem is that Molife comes round on the battlefield and cannot remember who he is or why he is there; and it is 2009. Or is it? Memory, loss and identity are examined in this absurdist tragic-comedy.

midnight train to sunrise, with live music is from James Lascelles – The year is 2010 and the world hot-foots its way to Africa’s Southern Colossus for the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’. Deep, deep underground two men dig around the clock making ready the way for a multi-million dollar transport link. But all of sudden a train is hurtling towards them, on tracks yet to be built and in a tunnel that does not yet exist… Where has it come from? Where is it going to? And why does the conductor insist that the diggers get on? Sibusiso Mamba presents a brutal, lyrical ‘State-of-the-Nation’ examination of an African Superpower.

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