The design of this first full length play, Boi Boi is Dead by Zodwa Nyoni, is the clue to grasping its unusual and delicate dramatic logic; at once full of realism and yet carefully sketched in a series of episodes, tableaux even, each building towards the emotional heart cry that concludes the play.
Francisco Rodriguez-Weil sets the play against a vibrant sky – as though an engraving, a silhouette of shapes – both those made by the actors (beautifully directed by Lucian Msamati) and those made by large hanging cut-outs that signpost ingredients of the ‘everyday’, while suggesting a milieu of myth and African folk-lore. Shaped model houses are in fact boxes that hide the artefacts that will be used to tell the story.
We are drawn into an intriguing world where questions have to be asked to unlock the conflict-driven lives that have been left as a consequence of Boi Boi’s death.
We have to listen carefully. The thick accents seem to be embryonic to Nyoni’s dialogue style, and there is humour in the way the characters are drawn, but whatever the culture, this is a play about history, back-story, family ties that are left exposed and fragile, reeling to find their sense of belonging. This was Boi Boi’s legacy....Read more at the Reviews Hub