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Transcript of woza albert
They were on tour with Gibson Kente, doing a play called Mama and her Load, when they got stopped and detained at the Bobhuthatswana border for not having the correct documentation to enable them to cross the border.
Background to Woza Albert!
Two actors, Percy Mtwa and Mbongeni Ngema, created the play Woza Albert! in collaboration with Barney Simon, one of the founders of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.
The actors, were inspired by Grotowski's "Towards a Poor Theatre", and Peter Brook's "The Empty Space", they were keen to try something more demanding and decided to create a piece of theatre together.
The pair use their own opinions as well as those of many township residents to work on their production over a period of 7 months
The idea: The theme of Jesus Christ returning to earth in apartheid South Africa. Barney Simon supported them with enthusiasm and suggestions.
Almost all Protest Theatre written between 1970 and 1990
focuses in some way on apartheid. Each piece, however examines this political system from a different perspecitve. Whereas some provide a general overview, others present a more personal viewpoint, dealing with reactions to a specific situation.
They did this by interviewing
people in Johannesburg and Soweto, who would
later form the basis for the characters in the play.
While the actors were working on creating this work, they were arrested by the Special Branch of the Security Police and held in solitary
They were able to use this
time productively by reading the Bible (the only reading matter permitted) and by holding discussions with other detainees. We can see therefore how their real experiences influenced Woza Albert! by looking at how many religious references, expressed through irony, exist in the play.
Upon their release from prison, the actors spoke to Manni Manim of the Market Theatre, who invited them to present their work to a small group. At this stage, Barney Simon Joined Mtwa and Ngema, and the three of them spent a further 6 weeks working on the "text" of the play.
their play, initially bringing together
their recent experiences,
as well those of others
interviewed. The play's highly physical and very energetic
form directly correlates to its workshopped roots.
this means that it is made up of a series of images. The actors play more than one role in the play and links are used to make one coherent production. For example, when the two actors make the sound of the police siren to link scenes two and three.
Structure: Episodic structure
Whilst on the bus someone asked "what if Morena were to come to this place?" and this sparked off an idea