By Bongani Ndlovu
Globetrotting Iyasa are hard at work preparing for their annual European tour amid revelations that this year, they will send two groups, one that will be stationed in Germany and the other in Austria due to high demand.
Iyasa travels to Europe next month for a seven-month tour of the continent that is expected to end in November.The group that wowed the Bulawayo crowd with a performance at Red Café last Sunday is rehearsing three plays; Black and a White ain’t no Colours (which premiered at Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo last year), Mr Kroko and Radio Freedom.
Iyasa director, Nkululeko Dube, who was spotted taking the group through its paces at Entumbane Hall earlier this week, said the group is expected to leave on April 11. He said demand was high for the Iyasa brand in Europe hence their decision to have two groups travelling.
“Fifteen group members are travelling to Europe. In Germany five group members will be based in Berlin while 10 will be based in Vienna, Austria.
“We had to spread our wings in Europe because there’s high demand for our productions. One group wasn’t going to be able to service Germany and Austria. The two countries have their Spring and Summer performing seasons at the same time and these two groups can cover them adequately,” said Dube.
He said the team in Austria will launch two new theatre productions while the one in Germany will launch one.
“In Austria they will first launch Mr Kroko then Radio Freedom. Mr Kroko is a theatre piece for children, in conjunction with Theatre Picollo Company of Vienna, while Radio Freedom is in conjunction with Theatre Ansicht.“The team off to Germany will work with Berlin-based Theatre Strahl on a piece they created last year titled Black and a White ain’t no Colours. This production returns to Europe following its popularity and demand last year,” said Dube.
According to Dube, as part of their tour, they will be travelling with fresh talent.
“Our primary aim as Iyasa is to promote and develop new talent and this year, we’ll be travelling with fresh talent including Bulawayo Arts Awards best male dancer; Mbongeni Nxumalo, Nkanyezi Ndlovu, Dorcas Ngwenya, Isheanesu Dzvairo and Newman Gondwe,” said Dube. The Chronicle