Vita Siyo Muchezo Ya Watoto unites twenty-three people from different backgrounds on one stage. Among them three actors and one musician from Congo and Burundi, nine Belgian actors and ten asylum seekers. Together they want to write a new narrative of compassionate humanity in a world full of contradictions, opposed interests and doubts, not shunning taboos.
Frédérique Lecomte takes Belgian theatre students and actors, including KVS face Valentijn Dhaenens, on a journey to East Congo. Together with local actors, they create a performance with and about child soldiers. At the same time, the play takes issue with the peace industry: international development aid is a million-dollar business, but in the end, who’s helping who?
Vita Siyo Muchezo Ya Watoto (War is not a child’s game) premiered in Goma this last summer. This autumn the production tours Belgian theatres, where the cast of Congolese, Burundian and Belgian artists will be complemented with asylum seekers and refugees. Leveraging the question ‘What do we have in common with child soldiers?’, the performance sheds light on how the situations ‘here’ and ‘there’ are interconnected.
Brussels theatre creator Frédérique Lecomte has directed remarkable productions in Belgium and abroad, like Dis-moi wie ik ben and Amakuba. She has developed a completely unique theatrical language centred around authenticity, vulnerability and disarming humour. For over 15 years she has been creating musical theatre in the conflict area on the borders between Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Her starting point are the stories and experiences of her actors: child soldiers, women who have encountered the sexual abuse rife in the area, victims and perpetrators of war crimes. Together, they process the documentary, autobiographical material into society-critical musicals. They present the audience with an unlikely mix of performing joy, sharp insights and inescapable emotion. Her performances tend to leave an indelible impression.
Vita Siyo Muchezo Ya Watoto was performed 7 times in Goma and surroundings, in the open air, for an audience of hundreds of bystanders. This time Frédérique brings the show to Brussels. Is it possible to do the same in a completely different context?
More info on the KVS website.