I have just returned from a powerful adaptation of Jack Mapanje‘s prison memoir “And Crocodiles are Hungry at Night” at the Africa Centre. The memoir tells the story of the arrest and imprisonment without charge of Jack Mapanje, an academic and poet, in the dying days of Hasting Banda’s Malawi. The arrest, probably generated by academic jealousy, led to incarceration for 3 years, 7 months and 16 days and had a profound effect not only on Jack but on his family. His release followed a lengthy campaign by Amnesty International and PEN International.
The production presented by Bilimankhwe Arts (of which I am a trustee) has an impressive central performance by Misheck Mzumara as the poet, but the entire ensemble are highly effective – particularly in showing the interplay of the prisoners sharing a single cell and their relationship with their guards.
The play runs to 18th August and tickets can be obtained here.