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Tale of black lesbian love explores SA hate rape issue

in WORLD, 29/11/2012

Telling the story of two black African lesbian lovers who try to touch each other across the supernatural divide, I Stand Corrected is an eerie murder mystery that takes place where a gay wedding should have been. Fresh from its sell-out run in South Africa, the play runs from 20 November to 8 December at Ovalhouse Theatre in London.

London’s Ovalhouse Theatre presents I Stand Corrected, a new theatre and dance collaboration between award-winning South African dancer and choreographer Mamela Nyamza and critically acclaimed British-Nigerian playwright Mojisola Adebayo.

Created and performed by Nyamza and Adebayo through haunting and sometimes absurdly comic physical theatre, seductive singing, dance and music, I Stand Corrected is an artistic response to the violent epidemic of ‘corrective’ hate rape in South Africa and the anti-gay marriage lobby in Britain.

Telling the story of Zodwa Ndlovu and Charlie Browning, two black lesbian lovers who try to touch each other across the supernatural divide, the play is an eerie murder mystery that takes place where a gay wedding should have been.

FREE Post-show discussions:
23 November : The ABC of Sexuality: Africa, Britain and the Caribbean

Chair: Yemisi Ilesanmi (Nigerian activist).
Panellists: Rikki Beadle-Blair (British / Jamaican filmmaker, playwright), Tonderai Munyevbu (Zimbabwean actor, Two Gents Productions), Campbell X (Trinidadian filmmaker).

27 November: My Big Illegal Gay Wedding – a debate on equal marriage

Chair: Ben Evans of British Council
Panellists: Deni Francis (actress who was also married in Ovalhouse theatre itself, Lenna Cumberbatch (Activist, Gingerbeer Lesbian), Topher Campbell Theatre and TV director, The Red Room)

Special events:

Saturday 24 November and Saturday 8 December

After the performance of I Stand Corrected on 24 Nov and 8 December, Ovalhouse’s cafe will be transformed into a party space and will feature African and Caribbean music courtesy of Deboa from Mix ‘n’ Sync Afrobeat, Soca Soul, Reggae, Bashment – a mini carnival! Make a night of it: pre-show Caribbean meal, ticket to show + post-show party – all for just £18.

About the performers:

Mamela Nyamza is a South African dancer, choreographer, development activist and motivational speaker who is dedicated to developing choreographies that address issues of human rights and the status of women. She received the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance in 2011 and her most recent work PHANTSI KWEMPUMLO / THE MEAL won The Standard Bank Ovation Award for 2012. Mojisola Adebayo is a British born, Nigerian / Danish performer, playwright, director, producer, workshop leader and teacher whose diverse work has ranged from being an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company to co-founding VIDYA, a slum dweller’s theatre company in Ahmedabad, India.

They were introduced to each other in 2009 and found they had much in common and that they were both concerned by the issue of homophobia in South Africa and Britain. Although their creative work is expressed in distinct forms, Adebayo through theatre and Nyamza in dance, they wanted to speak through these performance languages and challenge audiences by raising social issues in unexpected, surprising ways.

“I Stand Corrected is a powerful protest performance, a gripping and entertaining drama, a moving memorial for the lost, with an uplifting message of love and enduring hope dedicated to the 30+ women who have recently been raped and murdered in South Africa just because of their sexuality, and for everyone who believes in the freedom to love in Britain today,” explained Adebayo.

Fresh from its sell-out run in South Africa, the play runs from 20 November to 8 December at Ovalhouse, 52-54 Kennington Oval, London, SE11 5SW.

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