Politics, death and the devil in Ipi Zombie

By Sarah Beningfield

The Diocesan School for Girls and St Andrew’s College recently collaborated to put on the play Ipi Zombie, a production that was written and directed by Brett Bailey.

The play, which premiered at the National Arts Festival in 1998, is based on real events that occurred after a minibus taxi crashed outside Kokstad.

12 schoolboys were killed in the crash and 50 women from a nearby township were blamed for it.

Many people in the town thought that the women had used witchcraft to kill the boys and were planning to use them as zombie slaves.

This high school production was directed by Wesley Deintje and kept to the original script, with a few minor changes.

The show opened on Tuesday 18 March and ran until Saturday 22 March.

The young cast was exceptionally talented and the show was captivating from beginning to end.

The girls and boys embraced their roles and the set, lighting and costumes were also well done.

The show was not one that would be expected to be performed by an Anglican high school, especially considering it deals with murder, and one of the characters is the Devil.

Deintje said he believes that art should be political.

“I wanted to choose a script that speaks to Africans and the problems we face,” he said.

He also wanted the show to make the audience think and to leave the show with a strong reaction, even if it is a negative one.

Overall, the production was well done and highly impressive.

The cast had the audience laughing at the right moments and serious when the plot turned more intense.


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