“One review of a 2016 production of Workshop Negative by Tangle at Gate Theatre in London in the UK said that despite script and directorial issues, ‘the message is relevant’.49 Workshop Negative is a message from a time when political-theatre practitioners were learning to be acutely aware of the interconnectedness of art, politics and funding as they navigated a newly independent black-majority-rule government whose practices contradicted its socialist rhetoric. There are lessons, for a transnational audience, embedded in the perseverance and pragmatism of political-theatre practitioners in Zimbabwe. Through an analysis of the confluence of political, economic and artistic pressures that have informed the conditions of political theatre in Zimbabwe, meaningful insights can be gained into the fragility of democracy, the speed at which a state can become authoritarian, and the many politically impactful roles that theatre can play in society.”
Excerpt from Naila Keleta-Mae’s article “Workshop Negative: Political Theatre in Zimbabwe in the 1980s.” Theatre Research International. 44(3) 2019: 262-272.