The one-act play, staged on Friday, followed by two other performances on Saturday and Sunday.
A Mwezi Arts production for Madsoc Theatre season, produced by Hazel Musochera and directed by Stanley Mambo, speaks to the people today, highlighting vital issues such as pollution, neo-colonialism, modern-day slavery and self-esteem.
Taddja said he enjoyed the three acts and the support that the audience gave him.
“People patronised the three shows and it just shows that there is still that love for theatre and people enjoy intellectual and thought provoking theatre.
“I absolutely gave it my all in this new production because we have included adaptations that speak to people today on many other themes,” he said.
Tadjja, who has also written and directed a number of productions, said they were not done with the production as they were planning to showcase it at Theatre in Mandala at Jacaranda Cultural Centre in Blantyre and thereafter tour with it in Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa.
“We are also planning for a Canadian tour next year. We are also appealing to schools, especially colleges and high schools, to book the show under the Literature Live programme, where we showcase the play and then have literature workshops with the students,” he said.
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Musochera also said the performances were “super good” and that next up at Madsoc Theatre will be a production titled An Act of Man to be performed by Zimbabwean renowned actor Zenzo Nyathi and Educating Rita.
“We deeply appreciate all those that attended the three performances and we are encouraged by the positive feedback and reviews,” Musochera said.
Phillip Kuipa Phiri, who is an actor and filmmaker, said State of the Ape Address is not just a play but rather a thought provoking exploration into the human condition, wrapped in the guise of an ape’s struggle for freedom. The play delves into the yearning for freedom, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
See also: Nyokabi Macharia: Marching to the Beat of Her Own Drum
He further said that the play highlights the futility of escape for the apes, symbolising the struggles faced by black Africans and that the theme of not being able to escape oneself underscores the harsh reality that “no matter how much one emulates another culture, true equality often remains elusive”.
In the play, Red Peter, played by Taddja, an ape who was shot, captured and scientifically tamed to mimic human action and speech, presents his story to members of the academy – A State of the Ape Address.
Red Peter loses the memory of what being an ape feels like. To fit and find a way out, he adapts to handshaking, smoking, spitting, scrolling, performing and drinking.
This article was published by The Times under the title, State of the Ape Address touches on essential issues and has been reposted here with the writer’s permission.
Following successful premiere and run in Malawi, the Madsoc Theatre custodians will take State of the Ape Address on the road with their East African tour. They begin in Tanzanina at Goethe-institut in Dar es salaam on the 26th October and at UWC in Arusha on the 28th. State of the Ape Address will be part of the opening performances at Kenya International Theatre Festival (KITFEST) at the Kenya national theatre on the 1st of November before doing extended shows by the festival in Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu until the 5th of November.
The tour will end in Uganda with shows at the national theatre on the 7th and 8th, and Alliance Francaise- Kampala on the 10th and 11th of November.