Zabalaza Festival back with a bang

Twenty three productions closed the opening night with a huge show of songs.

Having had their doors shut since the Covid19, the Twelfth Zabalaza Theatre Festival welcomed back revellers over the weekend.

And if the crowds at the Baxter Theatre were anything to go by, audiences were happy to have their thirst for live theatre quenched at the launch of the festival on Friday April 1.

Before the start of the show, long queues were seen snaking around the signing tables to access tickets, and bars were buzzing. With Covid protocols having become the new normal over the past two years, social distancing was also observed.

When the theatre’s doors were finally opened, theatre-goers were excited to enjoy some of the 32 productions on the line-up of this year’s festival.

Artistic director and festival curator Mdu Kweyama said the week would be “busy busy”, with poetry, shows, family days and other performances part of this year’s festival.

He said for more than 10 years the Baxter Zabalaza Festival had grown and developed young theatre-makers and artists, many of whom had gone on to receive recognition and accolades in the local (and in some cases, international), theatre landscape.

He added that this year’s programme, once again, boasted a wide range of content and themes that included the sense of self and value, the questioning of religion and dogma and how abuse and domestic trauma affect the performance of pupils at places of education.

Urging the audience to come again and bring more people with them before the festival ends tomorrow, Friday April 8, audience developer Nontsikelelo Maboza advised them to see as many of the performances as possible. She added that transport at affordable rates, were available for schools and clubs.

Iziqhama Art Combination from Nyanga entertained the audience before heading to the hall.
Artistic director and curator Mdu Kweyama was a happy man.