Jr.cE.sA.r, KVS & NNT
Teatre Lliure Montjuïc - Sala Fabià Puigserver 14/07 - 15/07
During the battle against apartheid, African National Congress (ANC) resistance fighter Maurice Mthombeni wrote a letter to his confidante, Winnie Madikizela, better known as Winnie Mandela. The letter was however intercepted by the apartheid regime and published in the national newspaper of South Africa, in order to sow division within the ANC. Maurice Mthombeni fled to Europe and continued the battle from afar.
His son, director and KVS (Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg or Royal Flemish Theatre) face Junior Mthombeni, long had the idea of creating a performance around Winnie Mandela. Now, within the current European climate of disunity that pits people against one another, he found the time ripe to use Winnie Mandela as a source of inspiration on stage. The performance doesn’t only relate to this particular woman who, despite humiliation, abuse and exile, continued her resistance against the apartheid regime with untiring vigour – it also seeks to emphasise what we today can learn from her characteristic fighting spirit.
This time we look not through white but coloured lenses. KVS faces Mthombeni, Fikry El Azzouzi and Cesar Janssens, together with the trio Jr.c.E.sA.r, set out in search of answers together with nine actresses, singers and performers from the African diaspora. When do you rebel? When do you sacrifice your personality to the greater narrative? Together they turn the white, male, Eurocentric canon on its head. They denounce the lack of representation and criticise the official version of the story.
Winnie is not a blameless woman. She is a black woman who lived in a world of white supremacist men. Despite her setbacks and mistakes, she never gave up. And that’s why she is an example for so many people, both black and white. Right to this day, she gives people the power to fight for greater equality. This performance does not seek to be a history lesson – it wants to share the power.
After their lauded performances Rumble in da Jungle and Malcom X, Winnie Mandela is an evident next source of inspiration to Jr.cE.sA.r and KVS. They want Dear Winnie to sow seeds of hope and inspiration among the audience. Let this inspiring story transport you, through a lively performance brimming with music.
Coproduced by Théâtre De Liège, Perpodium
With the support of Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government.
Text: Fikry El Azzouzi Direction: Junior Mthombeni Musical installation & direction: Cesar Janssens Performing: Gloria Boateng, Andie Dushime, Denise Jannah, Tutu Puoane, Ntjam Rosie, Alesandra Seutin, Jade Wheeler, Joy Wielkens, Mahina Ngandu, Cesar Janssens, Christophe Millet, Junior Mthombeni Movement coach: Alesandra Seutin Vocal coach: Tutu Puoane Set & lighting design: Stef Stessel Costume design: Lieve Pynoo Sound design: Peter Zwart, Patrick Van Neck Dramaturgy: Robbert Van Heuven, Gerardo Salinas Assistant director: Wim De Vries Outside eyes: Ntando Cele Production: KVS, NNT Production direction: Miek Scheers, Maarten Otten, Marijn Nagel, Sita Rawie Technical production and stage manager: Jez Cox, Nele Druyts Lighting: Ralf Nonn Sound: Peter Zwart, Patrick Van Neck, Jenneke Obdeijn, Laurens Ingels, Laura den Hollander Construction set and instruments: Ralf Nonn, Danny Vandeput Costume makers: Kostuumatelier Noord Nederlands Toneel Costume assistant and dresser: Milla Westerhoff, Heidi Ehrhart Surtitling: Inge Floré, Marelien Geus, Lola Catsburg Translation: Anne Vanderschueren, Vertaalcollectief Distribution and tour management: Saskia Liénard
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