Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
AWARD winning actor Gift Chakuvinga will tonight debut his one man show titled, In My Skin, a play about what people do when they know that they’ll die soon.
The play, written and directed by award winning playwright Thabani Moyo, will be showcased at the Bulawayo Theatre and entrance has been pegged at $3.
Moyo said the play is about a 37-year-old man named Gift who has been told that he will die and his efforts to do well before his imminent demise.
“It’s about someone who’s told that his days are numbered because he has an incurable disease. He was a player in the past, involved in a few failed relationships and his parents went through a bitter divorce. This has made him think that he’ll never love again. After being told by doctors about his imminent death he tries to do a good deed by helping his neighbours solve their marital problems,” said Moyo.
He said the title of the play was inspired by the fact that people hide their problems well.
“People have many problems that they keep to themselves which they don’t want to talk about. When you look at them you’ll think everything is alright but there are a lot of stories. Gift in the play is opening up to the audience and telling them about his life and not wanting them to repeat his mistakes,” said Moyo.
An arts teacher, Moyo said he had faith in Chakuvinga to deliver during the play as he is a seasoned artiste.
“For Gift this is his first one man show. Having won a NAMA some time back and also being recognised by the Bulawayo Arts Awards, I think this will be a challenge for him. I know I’ve thrown him in the deep end and he has to prove that he can engage the audience as a solo act and take them through the story to the end,” said Moyo.
He said this was the second one-man play he has directed and he wants to explore more of the art form as it is less expensive to manage.
“Last year I did a two man play featuring Zenzo Nyathi and Gift Chakuvinga. And then I did a one man show with Philani Amadeus Nyoni. Thereafter I was interested in exploring the art form of telling stories through solo works and also encourage artistes to do so especially actors. Solo acts are easy to manage, package and transport to other destinations.”
Moyo and veteran actor Memory Kumbota recently teamed up to come up with a theatre acting manual meant to aid local theatre actors. The book titled, The Art of Stage Acting: An Actor’s Guide, provides a comprehensive handbook that is a must read for any upcoming stage actor while those already on the stage would benefit from its contents.-@bonganinkunzi