To many Robert Mugabe was a revolutionary hero, to others he was a dictator who was corrupt, and guilty of crimes against humanity.
It’s a story that could be told on stage with bombast and spleen, but in the quiet, capable and reflective hands of writer-performer Tonderai Munyevu, it all becomes a calm and measured account of the effects that one man had on a single family, and it is storytelling of the very highest quality. Despite his own personal involvement, Munyevu observes this complex story in an almost detached, but highly compassionate surview. The strength of his conviction is the driving point of the performance.
But this is not a play saturated in the darkness of human nature. Far from it. There’s a lot of humour here, witty insights into events and their consequences seen from both home and abroad. It’s an engaging one-acter, with a performer who sniffs melodrama in the air, but who then deftly reins us in, making Mugabe’s own rhetoric look inflated and dangerously foolish.
To September 18.
Mugabe, My Dad & Me
York theatre royal