Thanet performance company, Looping the Loop will be hosting new national touring show, Bunker of Zion, on July 1-2.
The show is devised and developed with renowned actor and musician John Pfumojena and produced in partnership with Collaborative Touring Network and The Old Courts, Wigan.
Zimbabwe-born actor and musician, John Pfumojena has worked with associate artist Jodie Cole from Westgate, She is currently developing a unique Thanet response to the show which will be performed live on stage incorporating local residents and members of Broadstairs inclusive performance group, Inspiration Creative.
John is a Mbira and Marimba musician, actor and composer. His practice is concerned with exploring the ancient art of Mbira music for contemporary audiences, storytelling, and collaboration. He has composed a range of music for multi-award-winning plays including The Jungle at Good Chance Theatre, Doctor Faustus and Volpone for Tangle Theatre Company.
Jodie is an inclusive dance theatre maker and a Jerwood Creative Fellow with the UK’s leading integrated circus company, ‘Extraordinary Bodies’. She is also the founder of Margate Contemporary Dance.
Tickets are now on sale for the show, which will take place in a unique Thanet venue (soon-to-be-disclosed) and has been masterfully created using traditional Zimbabwe Mbira and Marimba instruments.
Expect joyful, bouncing rhythms and powerful songs, plus traditional and modern Zimbabwean dance with break dance and gumboot dance – a traditional South African dance performed in wellington boots.
At the heart of the show there’s a strong Zimbabwean arts and culture influence, and audiences are invited into this world through the eyes and imagination of the artists. The production is scored by Zimbabwean Marimba and Mbira music, and various languages including Shona, Ndebele and Yoruba.
Bunker of Zion is an hour-long show, set in a dystopia where music is banned by those in charge. As a result, a small community creates a safe space in an underground bunker to continue enjoying the beautiful feeling that music gives them and a way to express how they feel. The show is created by John and his company of performers.
He said: “This collaboration really does what it says on the tin. Co-creating a show with the partners in the network, aided by an associate artist in each location, devised with community members.
“The Zimbabwe Mbira and Marimba instruments are the bedrock for this creative work, and we are asking every single person to come as they are and interact with their authentic selves. Zimbabwean Bantu Shona culture meets with myriad genres in dance, music, movement, spoken word and storytelling, culture shaking hands.
“I’m truly excited to be leading this work in an opportunity provided by the Collaborative Touring Network. Surely this is how collaboration should work across the country and the world.”
Jodie added: “I’ve had such a brilliant time thinking about ancestry with John Pfumojena and his ensemble of internationally-touring artists. I’m inspired by John’s unique Zimbabwean artistic expression and can’t wait to start workshops later this month so that we can come together and celebrate Thanet communities through beautiful dancing, song, and stories.”
Established in 2007 Looping the Loop is led by directors Ellie Jones and Suzy Humphries, and specialises in producing captivating live theatre performances in unique public spaces. The organisation has been a member of the UK Collaborative Touring Network (CTN) for well over a decade.
The CTN network prides itself on collaborating with internationally-acclaimed artists to devise, develop and tour world-view-changing live performances, with the inclusion of local artists and communities.
Find out more about the show via Looping the Loop’s website https://www.loopingtheloopfestival.org.uk/bunkerofzion.html
Ticket Link: https://buytickets.at/loopingtheloop
Or if you’re interested to participate in the show, places are still available for workshops starting on Saturday 14th May. Head to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/313699883797