Actor Wisdom Iheoma tells us about his work in the title role of Sizwe Banzi is Dead by Athol Fugard, John Kani & Winston Ntshona, opening at Mayflower Studios, Southampton this month before going on tour
Tell us a bit about Sizwe Banzi is Dead
The play is a story about a man, Sizwe Banzi, who arrives at the a photo studio to send a letter to his wife. And through the course of the letter we get to follow him and Buntu’s journey around Port Elizabeth.
Who do you play and what is their role in the piece?
I play the character Sizwe Banzi
The play was written in the 1970s, are the themes still relevant today?
The themes of displacement and lack of identity are big on the show and I believe are very relevant to today, because though the play was written during the 1970s many of the issues, devision that comes with a lack of identification are still an ongoing issue we face.
How are rehearsals going?
Rehearsals are going well, the process as been filled with exploration and play. Allowing us to find every possibility to the characters and the story we are trying to tell.
What can audiences expect from the play?
A joyful African story grounded in a modern setting, and also getting to know these characters and their individual journies.
What’s next for you?
Since graduating from drama school I have been blessed enough to have predominantly had theatre work, so hopefully I would like to explore some more screen based work as I do have a strong passion for film making.
Sizwe Banzi is Dead opens at Mayflower Studios before going on tour to Aberysthwyth Arts Centre, Exeter’s Barnfield Theatre and Theatre by the Lake Keswick www.mayflowerstudios.org.uk/what-s-on/sizwe-banzi-is-dead-2023