Best of Zabalaza Theatre Festival winner gets full run

Best of Zabalaza Theatre Festival winner gets full run

This year’s winner of the Baxter’s Best of the Zabalaza Theatre Festival 2012, ‘Worst of Both Worlds’, will take to the Golden Arrow Studio stage for the next two weeks only until August 4, at 7pm nightly.

Written and directed by Bulelani Mabutyana and starring Lubabalo Nontwana and Thando Suselo, the innovative two-hander was selected as Best Production out of 13 showcased earlier in March on the main programme of the popular development festival. The play was also nominated in the categories for Best Performance by an Actor (Nontwana and Suselo), Best Director and Best Script (Mabutyana) and Best Ensemble.

Performed mostly in English with some isiXhosa, ‘Worst of Both Worlds’ tackles the issue of human child trafficking. It tells the story of a girl who is abducted and trafficked at a young age, growing up under slavery and prostitution.

“Having been nominated in a number of categories without a win, I felt a bit despondent, but kept hoping my name would be called,” said an elated Mabutyana. “When they announced the finalists in the Best Production category I thought I wouldn’t stand a chance as we were up against really strong productions. So when they called out my name for the winning production I was in utter shock and felt completely overwhelmed. Even after accepting the award it still felt unreal and, even now, I still can’t believe I won,” added the 25-year-old.

“The artistic quality of productions at the festival this year was most encouraging and really made it very difficult to choose just one production, but Worst of Both Worlds stood out on many levels,” says Zabalaza Artistic Director Thami Mbongo. “It is done in a style that is fresh and innovative, as it combines good storytelling and a bit of physical theatre while daring to tackle the subject of trafficking, which is not often done. The cast deliver superb performances, which helps to tell this story in a way which entertains at the same time.”

* Tickets are R60. Book at Computicket.