JR.CE.SA.R, KVS & NNT juryselectie
10.09 – 11.09.2020
Director Junior Mthombeni, long had the idea of creating a performance around Winnie Mandela. The performance doesn’t only relate to this particular woman who, despite humiliation, abuse and exile, continued her resistance against the apartheid regime with untiring vigour – it also wants to emphasise what we today can learn from her characteristic fighting spirit.
This time we look not through white but coloured lenses. Mthombeni, Fikry El Azzouzi and Cesar Janssens, together the trio Jr.c.E.sA.r, set out in search for answers together with nine actresses, singers and performers from the African diaspora. When do you rebel? When do you sacrifice your personality to the greater narrative? Together they turn the white, male, Eurocentric canon on its head. They denounce the lack of representation and criticise the official version of the story.
Winnie is not a blameless woman. She is a black woman who lived in a world of white supremist men. Despite her setbacks and mistakes, she never gave up. And that’s why she is an example for so many people, both black and white. Until today, she lends people the power to fight for more equality. This performance does not want to be a history lesson – it wants to share the power.
• Junior Mthombeni is a theatre-maker, actor and musician. In recent years he has made a name for himself as the artistic head of the SinCollectief, with whom he created such highly praised productions as Rumble in da Jungle and Reizen Jihad. As a creator, he is also part of the collective Jr.cE.sA.r with Fikry El Azzouzi and Cesar Janssens. His work as a director presents a theatrical interpretation of burning topical issues (e.g. Syria fighters, corner boys, ...), but equally examines the contemporary significance of inspiring people, movements and events from the recent past, like Malcolm X, selected for Het TheaterFestval 2017. Working with a multiethnic cast, Mthombeni captures the metropolitan setting in a form of contemporary music theatre that is influenced by urban arts and musical traditions from every continent.
”Dear Winnie is brilliant – and often pretty uncomfortable” – de Volkskrant
“In a joint effort, this very talented ensemble pays hommage to both Mama Winnie and their African origins through text, song, dance and rap. All of this in Zulu, English, Flemish and Dutch.” – De Standaard
“This is not a Shakespeare adaptation in which the actors have studied their lines by heart: this is an exorcism, a personal reckoning with prejudice and discrimination." – De Morgen
text Fikry El Azzouzi | direction Junior Mthombeni | musical installation & direction Cesar Janssens | by and with Gloria Boateng, Andie Dushime, Denise Jannah, Tutu Puoane, Ntjam Rosie, Alesandra Seutin, Jade Wheeler, Joy Wielkens, Mahina Ngandu, Cesar Janssens, Christophe Millet & Junior Mthombeni | movement Alesandra Seutin | vocal coach Tutu Puoane | set & light design Stef Stessel | costume design Lieve Pynoo | sound design Peter Zwart & Patrick Van Neck | dramaturgy Robbert Van Heuven & Gerardo Salinas | assistant director Wim De Vries | outside eye Ntando Cele | production KVS & NNT | production directors Miek Scheers, Maarten Otten, Marijn Nagel & Sita Rawie | technical production & stage manager Jez Cox & Nele Druyts | technique Ralf Nonn (lighting), Peter Zwart, Patrick Van Neck, Jenneke Obdeijn, Laurens Ingels & Laura den Hollander (sound) | construction set & instruments Ralf Nonn & Danny Vandeput | costume execution Kostuumatelier NNT | costume assistant & dresser Milla Westerhoff & Heidi Ehrhart | surtitling Inge Floré, Marelien Geus & Lola Catsburg | translation Anne Vanderschueren & Vertaalcollectief | sales & tourmanagement Saskia Liénard | coproduction Théâtre De Liège & Perpodium | with the support of Tax Shelter van de Belgische Federale Overheid