Dispatches from Central Africa

Shakespeare Schools Festival - Malawi

The Third Festival - 2019

We celebrated the third Shakespeare Schools Festival - Malawi from Friday, 29th to Saturday, 30th November, 2019 at Kamuzu Academy.

Twelve schools and one youth group performed twelve plays and more sonnets.

They included two schools for the deaf.

Four hundred pupils and their teachers represented (and travelled from) every region of Malawi.

An important innovation this year was that each school was allotted a strict limit of thirty minutes to perform its play.

ssf_mw_iii_poster

Ms. Kseniya Filinova-Bruton, the Director of the Shakespeare Schools Festival - South Africa, writes to extend her best wishes for the Malawi Festival here (.pdf).

 

She is photographed with Dr. John Kani, South African actor, director and playwright.

 

The poster and certificates that appear on this page are her gift.

The programme is available here (.pdf).

The video record of the Festival follows.

 

The Festival prioritises the living experience of Shakespeare. However, it is hoped that these lightly edited versions of what appeared on stage will serve: as pleasant reminder to those who were present, as warm encouragement to those who might wish to participate in future and as enduring testament to people of good will elsewhere.

 

Click on the name of the play to watch the video.

 

The production quality accords with what is possible in rural Malawi at the onset of the heavy rains. It is our best attempt!

Central Region

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_all_saints_mtunthama_cdss

Julius Caesar

All Saints' Mtunthama CDSS

Film 01/12 (30:16)

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_all_saints_private_primary_school

The Tempest (Part I)

All Saints' Private Primary School

Film 02/12 (28:09)

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_chayamba_secondary_school

Romeo & Juliet

Chayamba Secondary School

Film 03/12 (19:19)

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_chayamba_secondary_school_special_needs_unit

'Village Sketches' (Signed)

Chayamba Secondary School (Special Needs Unit)

Film 04/12 (30:57)

We learned of the presence of the Special Needs Unit too late to invite a Shakespeare play. Next year!

Here is a brief video clip of different scenes from everyday life at dress rehearsal (November 2019).

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_chimbowe_cdss

King Lear

Chimbowe CDSS

Film 05/12 (27:58)

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_chimnbowe_primary_school

The Tempest (Part II)

Chimbowe Primary School

Film 02/12 (28:09)

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_chiphaso_cdss

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Chiphaso Holy Trinity CDSS

Film 06/12 (28:55)

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_destiny_drama_club_mtunthama

The Merchant of Venice

Destiny Drama Club (Mtunthama)

Film 07/12 (26:54)

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_kamuzu_academy

The Comedy of Errors

Kamuzu Academy (Website)

Film 08/12 (27:02)

 

The Kamuzu Academy Drama Club's poster is available here (.pdf).

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_loyola_jesuit_secondary_school

Macbeth

Loyola Jesuit Secondary School (Website)

Film 09/12 (25:33)

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_mlare_private_secondary_school

Hamlet

Mlare Private Secondary School

Film 11/12 (27:16)

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_mua_school_for_the_deaf

'Love-in-Idleness' (Signed)

Mua School for the Deaf (Website)

Film 04/12 (30:57)

Click here to see Mr. Martin Probert's innovative adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream for this signed performance.

Here is a brief video clip of the work in rehearsal at Mua (October 2019).

Northern Region

Southern Region

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_marymount_catholic_secondary_school

Twelfth Night

Marymount Catholic Secondary School (Website)

Film 10/12 (28:23)

ssf_mw_iii_certificate_nyungwe_girls_private_secondary_school

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Nyungwe Girls' Catholic Private Secondary School

Film 12/12 (29:54)

The YouTube playlist is available here.

This two-day Festival surpassed even last year's. Renewed congratulations to all concerned!

 

The Directors' report will follow in due course.

nyungwe_girls_catholic_private_secondary_school

Nyungwe Girls' Catholic Private Secondary School is in Blantyre District and represented the Southern Region. Their return journey was most of 1000 km.

 

Pupils of the school performed A Midsummer Night's Dream.

 

There is a tradition of drama at the school. Nyungwe Girls' Catholic Private Secondary School was victorious at the National Schools Arts Festival (Nasfest) at Lilongwe Town Hall in 2016.

 

It seems appropriate that, as the first institution to join us from the Southern Region, their chant (which is part of the Malawi traditional girls' dance called chitelera) should introduce and conclude the video record of the Festival.