After Mikuyu: Inspired by the poetry of Jack Mapanje

After Mikuyu: Inspired by the poetry of Jack Mapanje

In Malawi, you could be arrested for humming ´Cecillia´ by Simon and Garfunkel (Cecillia Kadzamira was the powerful mistress of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Malawi’s Life President), or writing a poem expressing unease at lack of political freedom. In England, it is possible to be ignored and misunderstood by the establishment while experiencing the hatred of many people, simply for the colour of your skin, or the sound of your voice.

In 1989, poet and academic Jack Mapanje was detained without charge by the Malawian authorities in Mikuyu Detention Centre, infamous for its brutal and inhuman treatment of political prisoners. His arrest was reported on the BBC, and Amnesty International led a campaign for his release. Many writers, linguists and human rights activists took part in the campaign, among them Harold Pinter, Wole Soyinka, Susan Sontag and Noam Chomsky.

He was eventually released without apology or explanation in 1991, 3 years, 7 months, 16 days and several hours after his arrest. He subsequently moved to the UK where he now lives in exile in York, working as Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

Using Jack Mapanje’s poetry and Malawian and British performers, After Mikuyu is a vibrant new play. Full of music, humour and irrepressible charm, this is celebration of an extraordinary man’s stubborn survival against the power of the state.

Presented as a work-in-progress as a part of Oval House Theatre’s FiRST BiTES programme of presenting work in development.


Tickets £4.00

Region: All
Start Date: 30/09/2006
End Date:
Start Time: 19:45
Venue: Oval House Theatre
Venue Address: 52-54 Kennington Oval, London
Press Tickets: Not Specified
Sponsorship: Not Specified
Press Tickets:
Name: Debbie Vannozzi