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GODS, FATE AND A LIBRARIAN (article first published : 2008-07-2)

“Belief” and the possibility of change in the smallest form …

Gods, Fate and a Librarian appearing on the National Arts Festival fringe is a two-woman show telling the story of the birth of a new religion and the method as to how that religion comes to power. Set in an “imaginary” country, the play starts with two characters “past” and “present”. They are our storytellers who set the scene.

The story is that of trying to bring down the tyrant leader Mafaso Bakaya. With a political mindset the characters create a “symbol” of this religion to incorporate it into the world of politics. The symbol is a banana. They search for a messiah who turns out to be a woman Librarian, who will realise she is the messiah when she eats a special banana and try to help bring down Mafaso Bakaya.

Directed by Michael Pearce, Gods, Fate and a Librarian tackles the subjects of politics and religion, creation, women and belief in a multi-cultural context. The story is told through physical theatre, cut-out pictures, minor drawings, minor puppetry and clever use of two ladders on stage. The music was all-encompassing with a mixture of classical, rock, Indian and Africa, and sound effects were effectively done by the performers themselves.

Particularly exciting was the element of audience participation in certain instances. The overall message of the piece was “Believe … because with belief, anything is possible”.

The actor playing “past” brought a unique energy with excellent physical characteristics in each character. It was a very convincing performance as she slipped into each character with fluidity. The story concluded at the African Union Summit where the Librarian, successfully gets Mufaso Bakaya to eat a poisoned banana and in so doing helped create this new type of existence. A good effort by the performers, with a wide story told in a unique manner. – Shika Budhoo




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