Moji Kareem, Utopia Theatre [image by Sloetry]

Q and A with Moji Kareem Artistic Director Utopia Theatre

Moji KareemYou are the artistic director and founder of Utopia Theatre. When was the theatre company formed?
I have always been very passionate about theatre. After completing a degree programme in performance theatre where I specialised in directing I decided that one of the ways to keep my passion alive is to take direct control of the options open to me as a theatre practitioner. The theatre company itself was founded in 2012 as a result of brainstorming with fellow students from my university.

What inspired you to start the company and what do you hope to achieve with it?
One of the reasons I set the company up is that I regularly go the theatre but I often get disappointed and wonder why practitioners do not experiment more the way they do with films. I would like to push the boundaries and also to give artists the opportunity to explore different ways of working and collaborating. I am eager to take audiences to another level of theatregoing experience. As an absurdist play The Shepherd’s Chameleon seems the perfect production to push the boundaries with.

If you could have a sound bite that would describe you, what would it be?
I teach actors to engage with their inner child and play.

If you could choose the three most important things that you want from any actor who is performing for you what would they be?
I would want them to be punctual, come with an open mind set and be committed to their craft.

You are currently presenting The Shepherd’s Chameleon. What can you tell us about it?
The Shepherd’s Chameleon is one of Eugene Ionesco’s rarely performed plays. It is an absurdist farce that I have given a fun and playful twist. I took out all the stage directions and inserted my own. In this physical production, the playwright is the shepherd and the world of theatre a chameleon. Ionesco takes on his critics in a ridiculous battle of wits.

The Shepherds Chameleon

The show runs until 25h May, why should people come along to see it?
It is a fun and vibrant show that pushes boundaries on every level. If nothing, it will be a theatre experience you will never forget. I go to the theatre on average three times a week and it is a production that is unlike anything that I have ever seen. Most audiences who have seen it comment that it is like nothing they have ever seen before. The piece tests the different art forms of dance, music, sound and text.

What else have you got planned for 2013?
I have been asked to direct a play for a theatre festival in Nigeria. I am also at the early stages of work on another project where I will take a classic text and set it in Africa.

The Shepherd’s Chamelion is playing at The CLF Arts Cafe until 25th May 2013

Thursday 16th May 2013

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