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Performance evaluation. Makwacha Hip Hopera, originally The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht is a comical and modern version of the text. The adaptation was very cleverly devised by Nanzikambe using the original version for structure and pl

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Drama Coursework- Performance Review by Alexandra Demetriou Play: Makwacha Hip Hopera (The Threepenny Opera) Performed by: Nanzikambe Date: Saturday 20th March 2010 Venue: French Cultural Centre, Blantyre "Makwacha Hip Hopera", originally "The Threepenny Opera" by Bertolt Brecht is a comical and modern version of the text. The adaptation was very cleverly devised by Nanzikambe using the original version for structure and plot but taking on a modern Malawian theme. Set in our own hometown-Blantyre, the audience could easily relate to the characters and overall plot, making it enjoyable and easy to follow. The play revolves around Polly, a young British girl who falls in love at first sight with, and later secretly marries, Panga knife Mac, a highly wanted Malawian gangster and womanizer. However her Malawian parents (who adopted her) strongly disapprove of the marriage as they know of Mac's criminal reputation and desperately want to get him arrested- which eventually happens. "Makwacha Hip Hopera" shows the differences in culture between the British and Malawian. The clash in culture is clearly shown in the scene where the couple is getting married and Mac's gang disapproves and is shocked that he is marrying a white woman. ...read more.


Mac on the other hand was quite a mysterious person- keeping to himself and always having quite a serious, calm expression. The audience almost felt wary of him and got the impression that he is not someone to be trusted; this was clear when he was promising Lucy that he would marry her and that he was not with Polly when he was obviously with her. He was getting very close and physical with Lucy and he spoke with a gentle, comforting tone to try and persuade her that he was telling the truth. Here the audience would have realized that he was infact a liar and an untrustworthy man. I think that more dramatic techniques were needed to be used as I found the style of acting the same through the play. There were a few instances where there were duologues such as when Polly and Mac were together and also when Mr and Mrs Phiri were arguing at the start of the play. Also there times when the characters were talking directly to the audience and involving them such as when Mr Phiri was telling the audience about how Poverty is his source of "income." ...read more.


At parts singers were stood singing backstage or during the transition changes which added a different effect to the play and made it more interesting to follow. However not all of the music was relevant to the scenes which I think could have been thought out more clearly and the lyrics were also hard to listen to at times. Overall, I feel that "Makwacha Hip Hopera" was a satisfactory play. I think that it needed some development in certain areas, especially in the scene transitions which I thought needed speeding up. Also at times the actors were blocking the projector and it was very clear that the light irritated them. One last point is that the music didn't always start and stop at the right time as in one case the music stopped before the actors had finished their dance but they managed to cover it up and continued dancing. Moreover I felt that the songs placement was poorly thought out- as was their length and this seemed to bore the audience. However I do have some good opinions of the play- I thought that it was a very enjoyable piece especially as it was based in Malawi and I thought the local references were very clear and amusing. ...read more.

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