Maloza – The Man Cub (dir. Bruno Cappagli, Margherita Malonazzi, Thokozile Mwale, Simon Kamanga, Andrew Lungu) is a fast-paced, energetic and visceral adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, co-produced by ASSITEJ Zambia & La Baracca – Testoni Ragazzi.
After watching the show delight large groups of schoolchildren, I chatted to one of the audience members, Mosa, to find out what she thought of the play and about what brought her to the Cradle of Creativity:
Josephine Lane [Dialogue] (JL): So what did you think of Maloza – The Man Cub?
Mosa (M): I thought it was extremely high-energy. For an audience member it was exciting to watch because we were just enthralled, really. The kids were obviously really entertained.
“The way that the characters came through the audience, it had all the kids screaming!”
There were parts I couldn’t even watch because the gymnastics they were doing were just terrifying, so I found that quite challenging. It was just lovely, a really lovely piece.
JL: What did you think of the costumes?
M: The costumes were great. I really liked how they just used everyday things. They didn’t use much and I’m a big fan of shows like that, where you don’t need everything over-explained to you. It was obvious and easy to understand what it was. It was also exciting to figure out what bits they had used. The bottle-noses on the wolves were really good.
JL: What else have you seen that you’re raving about?
M: We just saw Yao Yao, which was really cute, very sweet. It was about a little girl who doesn’t want her dad to leave for work and she ends up playing all day. It used a mixture of projections and props and you could see all the kids were amazed. They were like, “Where did that come from? How is she sticking to the wall?” They made it look like she was trapped in a spider’s web, just by using projections! It was a very sweet piece. Yesterday I saw Whiteout. That was fantastic. It was just beautiful. The dances were incredible. It was just very sweet, again. It was really lovely how they incorporated the Children into the dancing.
JL: Tell me a bit about you and your company.
M: I work for Tutti Fruitti, a Children’s Theatre production company based in Leeds in the United Kingdom. We often do co-productions with York Theatre Royal. We specialise in making work for Children aged three to seven but occasionally older Children. It’s family-friendly, magical theatre. We try and use props and sets that encourage imagination and play. It’s all very playful. We tour nationally and we are starting to look at touring internationally.
JL: So is that what brought you here?
M: Well we were asked to bring a show here. We couldn’t because of funding but we came anyway. We wanted to see all the things that were going on. It’s also a good opportunity to meet people and put faces to names. I’m also half South African so it’s a great opportunity to come back and see family.
JL: And what will you take away from the Cradle of Creativity?
M: I don’t know really. I think it’s just great to see how people are approaching different issues internationally. It’s also lovely to see how different people perform to Children. It’s completely different in different countries.
“You can make work for Children that isn’t in their language, but it’s still completely engaging for them.”