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OUT IN AFRICA
A cross between William Golding's Lord of the flies and Slawomir Mzorek's Out at Sea, this solo play portrays the story of four German tourists captured by Islamist rebels in an unnamed African country and locked up with no sustenance. The men are soon forced to confront their baser instincts when they realise that the only way to survive is to eat each other. At the hard end of this decision lies the difficulty to choose the sacrificial lamb(s). Thus begins a battle of the survival-of-the-fittest that turns into a microcosm for larger political issues.
The macabre events in Out in Africa are told and enacted with both horror and sharp humour by the only survivor, a German lawyer named Heiner Kochesser. The play is a satire on Eurocentrism and how Africa is often problematised in Western eyes. Told with an evocative African soundscape, the play is not only a rendition of a monologue but also a ritual-like performance in which Kochesser, tries to justify his involvement in the cannibalism to the audience, which he sees as a court of public opinion. He attempts to justify his deeds with the human instinct to survive tries to prove all gathered that he is still a cultured human being in spite of his partaking in the macabre events.
The play, performed and produced by acclaimed Luxembourg actor Steven Karier, is written and directed by acquainted South African theatre-maker Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom who works for the first time in Europe.
Text: Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom
Director: Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom
Dramaturgy and production: Rolf C. Hemke
With: Steve Karier
Théâtre National du Luxembourg (TNL)