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Many Rivers Crossed, a new one-man play about the Angolan civil war comes to the Landor_Space

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

RICHARD Canal is presenting Many Rivers Crossed at the Landor_Space from September 5 to September 11, 2018.

A new one-man play written and directed by Richard Canal (Cry, Blueberry) and performed by Emeson Nwolie (Paddington 2, Guardians of the Galaxy), Many Rivers Crossed examines guilt and violence in this piece about the infamous Angolan warlord Jonas Savimbi, delving deeply into a culture rarely seen on the UK stage.

February 22nd, 2002. Ambushed at breakfast in the open savanna of eastern Angola, Jonas Savimbi – the infamous warlord and leader of the UNITA rebels – has just been killed by government troops. After twenty-seven years of civil war, since independence in 1975, what was one of Africa’s longest and deadliest conflicts has at long last reached its inevitable end.

Angolans will soon dance and rejoice in the streets at the demise of the man many condemn as perpetrator of the war: Savimbi’s personal vendetta against the incumbent party, and against Angola as a whole for not having chosen him in the 1992 elections, resulted in the loss of 500,000 lives, and left a country that could have been the continent’s richest among its poorest.

He suddenly wakes up – dead, bullet-ridden and surrounded by a tribunal of the ghosts of those killed by his hubris. He is confronted by the pain he has wreaked on Angola; and in an attempt to die in peace, he explains himself – but whether he is willing apologise and repent is unclear.

Many Rivers Crossed condemns without demonising, and humanises without sympathising, the obsessions of a warlord, in order to find a semblance of meaning in humankind’s propensity for power-thirst and pride.

Richard Canal is a theatre practitioner from Spain and the United States. He has a BA in Human Rights and an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development, and focuses on theatre for reconciliation.

Emeson Nwolie is a British-Nigerian singer-songwriter, actor, producer, remixer and writer with extensive film experience in movies such as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Assassin’s Creed, Doctor Strange, Jason Bourne, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Many Rivers Crossed is co-directed by George Goodell.

Tickets: £12/£10 – to book, visit www.landorspace.com/many-rivers-crossed.

Times: 7.30pm with 2.30pm matinee on Sunday (no performance on Saturday).

Running Time: 90 minutes.

Landor_Space, 70 Landor Road, London, SW9 9PH