The Kwasha! Theatre Company, supported by IFAS and AF de Durban, brings Boris Vian’s The Empire Builder’s to life.

An immersive audio experience available for audiences to enjoy from home until the end of the month of February 2021.

Sit comfortably (whether you find yourself in a chair, a couch, a bed, in a park, a library, at home, in South Africa or elsewhere), plug into your headphones, connect on and get ready for an audio journey that will bring you straight into the shrinking apartment of a strange family with The Empire Builders.

This binaural audio play, which takes the shape of 3 episodes of 20min each, will is available as a free and open access online experience via throughout the month of February 2021. This online experience is an ideal way to enjoy a theatre play despite the current lockdown restrictions.

An absurd and burlesque tradegy

The Empire Builders is an Absurdist tragi-comedy based on Vian’s childhood experience of the Nazi occupation; and written at a time when French colonialism in African and Asian territories was coming to an end. The play tells the story of a middle class family that is threatened by an unusual noise forcing the family members to ascend through their apartment building to progressively smaller rooms, leaving behind all the comforts they once enjoyed while maintaining a façade of calm and denial.
While the family is constantly on an upward run, their world is increasingly narrowing; floor after floor, members of the family mysteriously leave or vanish. 

The play addresses themes such as alienation, selfishness, self-deception, prejudice, memory, masculinity – & the incomprehensibility of existence and meaning”, explains director and Kwasha Theatre Company member, Dintshitile Mashile.

The Kwasha! Theatre Company

The Kwasha Theatre Company have had the opportunity to really push their boundaries  and innovate from all sides this year, working consistently throughout the year to produce work in various mediums from Zoom to Stage.

The collaboration with Kwasha is about more than simply producing a work for audiences to enjoy. We are also investing in young theatre makers and their skill set in this collaboration, so it is fantastic to see how the medium pushes the performers and director to discover new ways to connect to audiences”, says Selen Daver Cultural attachée at the French Embassy in South Africa.