CHEERS TO SARAJEVO Comes to Alexander Upstairs

CHEERS TO SARAJEVO Comes to Alexander Upstairs

1992 Bosnia, a bloody civil war begins. Cheers to Sarajevo tells the story of two lovers. A Bosnian Muslim and a Bosnian Serb. A love story. In the days of Yugoslavia their differing ethnicities was accepted as a norm in the cosmopolitan city of Sarajevo. Told through the lens of an ambitious South African conflict journalist who infiltrates their lives we follow the slow but steady decline of a lifelong friendship. Theirs is a story known to many Yugoslavs who were separated from one another and who turned on each other during a senseless war. It is a story known to people all over the world who are torn apart because of race, religion and the mass media that use war as their fodder.

Often by watching and telling stories of other people, you get to learn about yourself. How far was South Africa from a civil bloody war in the 90's. How different is xenophobia from racism, nationalism, ethnocentricity. How easy would it be to turn on our brothers and sisters right now, 2018 in South Africa. In a world in which human suffering is rife, every opportunity to be reminded of what we share, who we are and our ability to hope should be grasped. War, hate & violence are themes that are perpetuated on the international news daily.

The power of theatre is to speak beyond the limitations of media, screens & prints. Story can epitomise the importance of compassion, forgiveness & love in a world that is submerged in fear, pain and discrimination. Stories can touch the hearts of the enemy and remind them that the man we kill is our brother, the women we rape is our mother and the children we maim, they are the future of our humanity.Cheers to Sarajevo is performed in the memory of Anné Mariè du Preez Bezdrob. A former United Nations political and information officer, award-winning political journalist and radio and television anchor.During the war in Bosnia she spent two years, from 1993 to 1995, in the capital Sarajevo as a member of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR).

These performances are in an effort to raise money which will be given to a charity for the Rohingya refugee children. Further more, Theatre's power is in the audiences knowledge that when the lights go down, for the how ever many hours, every person in that darkened room is going to share an experience that is entirely unique. No show will ever be exactly the same. This makes it truthful. The knowledge allows both the performers and the audience to create a bond founded on the fact that this experience is almost a secret that no one outside this room will ever be privy to. This intimacy, when harnessed can create a truly lasting emotional impression. it provides the opportunity to tap into our innate ability to empathise and sympathise with one another. This way, tales from what may seem to be a foreign land can suddenly feel like they are your own, and remind us of the simple fact that we all share the human condition.

Cheers to Sarajevo just returned from performing in Ottawa, Canada, opening up an international conference organized by the Central and Eastern European Studies Research Group in collaboration with the Research Group on Migration. University of Ottawa: 21st Century Reflections on Sexual Violence in Wars and its Transgenerational and Transnational Impact.

Alastair Moulton Black started a company called I Am Productions where he performed many shows both here and in The U.K. Sylvia's Ball won The Editor's Choice Award at The Edinburgh Arts Festival. He was also part of The Globe Players Theatre Company in London performing many Shakespeare's including playing Romeo. Other performances include King Lear (Edgar) at The Arts Cape, Assassins at The New Space, Shakespeare's R&J at The Fugard, Sexual Perversity In Chicago at The Intimate and In the Playground at The Polka Theatre in London. Over the last few years Alistair's focus has been in Film and Television. But Cheers To Sarajevo is an exciting return to theatre, as he believes that the real magic happens on the stage.

Lamar studied at Wits University and is an actor of the stage and screen. His first love is film and to that end he's acted in the following productions: Shuks Pay Back the Money; Hatchet Hour; Cain; The Crown; Sokhulu and Partners; Fluiters; High Rollers; The Wrong Mans; Ons Stories: Die Krag van Kristelle; and Mshika Shika. In 2013, he won the AMTC Shine Award for Best Actor.

Rory Acton Burnell is an actor, writer, musician and voice artist. Since graduating in with a Licentiate diploma from Trinity college London he has worked in local and international film, television, and theatre. His credits include Woman In Love (BBC), Bluestone 42 (BBC), Black Sails (Starz) and Solo Flight with Vicky Kriepps. Cheers To Sarejevo marks his return to theatre after 5 years and he is very excited to be part of this important piece.

Aimée Ntuli is a 28 years old graduate from the University of Witwatersrand. She obtained her honours degree in Dramatic Arts majoring in performance and directing. She was also a member of the acclaimed Actors Centre for a year before its demise in 2008. Aimée has played lead roles both on stage and on screen. Some of her credits include: Romeo and Juliet, Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Equus and Mshika-Shika. She recently played the role of Lola in Waiting for Jack at Auto and General theatre on the Square. She directed Ask Walter which she co- wrote with fiancé, film maker Zee Ntuli which was staged at Auto and General Theatre on the square . Aimée is also an accomplished writer and has had various produced scripts for Etv and Mzansi Magic.

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