International theatre company Bilimankhwe Arts is taking its new production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest on a national tour this autumn.
Directed by artistic director Kate Stafford this powerful, passionate and magical production features stunning contemporary African choreography from Shyne Phiri (Zimbabwe’s Tumbuka Dance Company), with an original soundtrack which samples traditional Malawian music.
Full of humour and movement, the show is fast paced, urban and packed with excitement.
The Tempest is about patriarchy, colonialism and power, with a multi-racial cast of Native English speakers for Prospero, Miranda, Ferdinand, Trinculo and Stephano, and Native Chichewa speakers for Caliban and Ariel.
The company uses the best from both continents by bringing together artists from Africa and Europe.
Christopher Brand (Emmerdale, George Gently) plays Prospero. He is joined by Victoria Jeffrey, Cassandra Hercules, Benedict Martin, Stanley Mambo, Jason Harris, Joshua Bhima and Robert Magasa.
Bilimankhwe, set up in 2006 by Kate Stafford and Gideon Kagoya, uses contemporary British and African performance styles to challenge attitudes towards race and culture.
Projects include; After Mikuyu, life story of dissident poet Jack Mapanje; Love on Trial, an adaptation of Stanley Onjezani Kenani’s Caine Prize nominated story; Brothers in Blood and Elusive Spring by Mike Van Graan, a collaboration with UK Arts International and the Afrovibes Festival.
This year Bilimankhwe developed a Chichewa language version of Romeo and Juliet, which has been published and performed across Malawi.
Sept 27-30, Greenwich Theatre
Oct 2, Tonbridge School Theatre
Oct 3, Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead
Oct 4, Conservatoire East, West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds
Oct 5, Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, Havant
Oct 7, Quarry Theatre, Bedford
Oct 10-11, Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts
Oct 12, Theatre Royal Winchester
Oct 14, The MAC, Birmingham
Oct 16, Farnham Maltings
Oct 18, Luton Library Theatre
Oct 19, Hertford Theatre
Oct 22-23, STYX, Tottenham Hale
Oct 25-26, Cast, Main House, Doncaster
Oct 27, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham.