66 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LZ

A Season in the Congo Poster

A Season in the Congo

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Closed August 24, 2013

Alive with song and light and motion and colour!


Why See A Season in the Congo?


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.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 6 July 2013

Cast and Creative


Lydie Alberto
Nandi Bhebhe
Brian Bovell
Sharon Duncan-Brewster
Kurt Egyiawan
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Daniel Kaluuya
Joan Iyiola
Josépha Madoki
Joseph Mydell
Kaspy N'Dia
Sandra Reid
Ira Mandela Siobhan
Oliver Tida Tida
Kabongo Tshisensa


Direction Joe Wright
Co-direction Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Design Lizzie Clachan
Light Jon Clark
Sound Craig Berkey
Puppet Direction Sarah Wright
Dramaturg Ruth Little

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