Split/Mixed is a captivating one-man show about a boy growing up in Rwanda in the 90s. It a coming-of-age tale of friendships and self-discovery, from which brings to life a vital portrait of a place and time often reduced in the wider consciousness as a distant atrocity.
Writer/performer Ery Nzaramba brings to life nearly a dozen characters, merging memories into a compelling narrative exploring kinship, cultural expectations and personal identity that weaves the fantastic with the ordinary in his search for a singular voice.
“Last year I returned to Rwanda for the first time after 20 years. My overwhelming impression was that Forgiveness and Reconciliation are very long and difficult processes indeed. People in Rwanda don't want to speak about the past. Yet they live it and think it every day. The unspoken feud between the two main tribes is ever present. Even we in the diaspora carry it with us. This observation is the inspiration for my play.
With Art, the unspoken can be said. A lot has to do with how Rwanda is perceived in the world. The association of Rwanda with the Genocide doesn't help. Creating a new image of Rwanda is an important part of the Forgiveness and Reconciliation process. And I, being one of the few prominent Rwandan artists based abroad, want to contribute to that. It is my responsibility.As a professional actor I have been blessed to receive many opportunities. Yet opportunities to develop my voice as a 'Rwandan Artist' have been few. The time has come to develop my Rwandan voice, and it has converged with my awakening as a playwright.This project will sustain my growing professional practice and profile as a British-based Rwandan theatre practitioner and allow me to create what (I hope) will be the first of many ambitious and innovative plays from an unrepresented cultural perspective.”
The money will be spent towards taking the show to Edinburgh fringe festival where it will get significant audiences and exposure:
Tamasha is proud to put its weight behind Ery Nzaramba's beautiful and moving play - and we hope you will too. Please dig deep to help us give Split/Mixed the launch pad it deserves, at the world’s biggest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this summer.
Tamasha Theatre Company celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. During that quarter-century, we have grown to become Britain’s leading national touring theatre company, producing new plays inspired by the diversity of a globalised world.
Split/Mixed is an additional show to Tamasha’s main, annual national tour – that will be Mother India by Satinder Chohan, going into rehearsal at Belgrade Coventry at the end of this year for a January opening and Spring national tour. Touring is expensive and there won’t be much left over. But Split/Mixed is too good a show for us not to back – so we’re trying a new approach, to see if we can assemble a team of private sponsors around the show in order to expand our capacity to support the best diverse new work. At a special fundraising performance at the May fair Hotel on 29 January, we raised £2,600. The subsequent online crowdfunding campaign we have just launched aims to raise a further £5,000.
Here's Ery on Vox Africa talking a bit about the show: https://youtu.be/czDvIdBZgAo
Here's Tamasha Artistic Director Fin Kennedy, explaining a little more here