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66 The Cut, Waterloo, London, SE1 8LZ
Ended 24 Aug 2013 after 49 days
Alive with song and light and motion and colour!
Critically acclaimed feature-film director Joe Wright (see Atonement, Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina) helms this production of Aime Cesaire's compelling commentary on Congo's turbulent past. Cesaire, a Martinique intellectual, politician and poet, wrote A Season in the Congo in 1966, just one year after the Congolese Independence Crisis, providing an in depth insight into the political events that saw the Congo emancipated from Belgian colonial rule.
Award-winning British film, television and theatre actor Chiwetel Ejiofor gives a stunning performance as the play's central character and hero Patrice Lumbumba, a beer salesmen turned political activist. In keeping with the prodigiously visual standard of the Young Vic, the show is a dazzling blur of song and dance; polyrhythms, sub-bass, puppetry, comedy and tragedy fuse together to form a truly eye-popping spectacle.
Tracing the decolonisation process, Cesaire presents a tragic hero in Patrice Lumbumba, chronicling his political journey from 1955 to 1960. The charismatic beer-salesman sets up the Mouvement National Congolais and 5 years later, in 1960, becomes the first democratically elected prime minister of the newly independent Congo. But Belgian oligarchs plot to keep their commercial interests in the Congo safe by dividing the country, resulting in Lumumba's ill-fated decision to ask the USSR for help. What was once a promising new start turns into civil war in this hard-hitting drama, where post-colonial ideals are poisoned by western intervention and tribal conflicts.
Opening night: 6 July 2013
Closing night: 24 August 2013
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