A set of Zimbabweans treated fans to a comical production that retraces events that transpired during the last days of former president Robert Mugabe in power.
Dubbed “Operation Restore Regasi”, the play follows events, real and imagined, that took place mainly at Mugabe’s private mansion popularly known as Blue Roof following a military intervention code-named “Operation Restore Legacy”.
The crowd was amused by the remarkable display of talent by the cast of mainly young actors who gave an amusing glimpse of what was happening behind the scenes in the wake of the military takeover that took place a few months ago.
Although most of the action is fictional, the story is guided by actual events which took place during the week of suspense.
The hilarious account was written and directed by Charles Munganasa and it premiered in Masvingo a few weeks ago.
The cast is made up of seasoned and upcoming actors, with Mike Banda playing Mugabe and veteran actress Carol Mpofu as his wife, Grace.
The writer also features as the no-nonsense General Chiwenga whilst Dereck Mapfumo, Donovan Takaendesa, Sydney Taivavashe, Rose Zivanai, Marayne Mtetwa and Tatenda Makava make up the rest of the cast.
The play opens at Blue Roof with Grace Mugabe rehearsing her next public tirade against those perceived to be opposed to her ascendency to the presidium, with her domestic worker cheering her on.
She is then interrupted by a distressed Mugabe who enters the room followed an angry Constantino Chiwenga with his armed bodyguard.
Mugabe is caricatured as a jittery character who however tries to cunningly keep his position despite the military intervention, but is left dejected after finding out that events have overtaken him.
“I am your Commander in Chief and you have no right to deploy yourselves without me giving you the order. You are violating the constitution,” a livid Mugabe tells General Constantino Chiwenga.
Grace is also satirically portrayed as a character with no self-control and as suffering from severe emotional instability, causing her to cry herself unconsciousness when she realises that power has suddenly slipped from her family’s hands when it had just seemed like she had it all under control.
The play ends with the public celebrating Mugabe’s resignation, with a flustered Grace crying herself out.
This is one of the best theater staged in a realistic set with great soundtracks. However the play is too long and might lead to loss of audience concentration in some scenes.
The director should compress the storyline to shorten the production for future staging.