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African actors defy homeland ban with fringe visit
Edinburgh News
July 22, 2005

A SATIRICAL play which has been banned in the performers' native Zimbabwe because it pokes fun at an African dictator will be shown as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The Super Patriots and Morons will be performed in the Capital at the Assembly Rooms, in George Street, between August 22 and 29. The theatre group looks set to be allowed into Edinburgh, even though other Zimbabwe groups Sing! Zimbabwe and Tambuka have been refused visas.

Organisers describe the play's main character as an iron-fisted leader intolerant of opposition.

The dictator sees people who do not believe in his government as enemies and fronts for imperialists who have to be stopped. It was first shown in Harare two years ago, but before its second run in 2004, the Zimbabwe government cited provisions of the colonial Censorship and Entertainment Control Act 1967 as a basis for banning the play.

Producer Dave Guzha said: "Super Patriots and Morons mirrors society in many ways, reflecting our ugly sides that we never want revealed. It laughs at our socio-political follies in quite a humorous way.

"Yet humour can be misunderstood.

"In Zimbabwe, the play fell victim to such misunderstanding.

"Because the play is not ordinary art, it will weather the storm living on in the face of draconian laws that stifle free expression."

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