Featured Jemma’s food porn from spagnoletti to spaghetti

Jemma’s food porn from spagnoletti to spaghetti

Look, I’d go to see this show just for the title alone, but when you have the goddess of kamishibai extreme, Jemma Kahn, combined with some edgy SA writers and directing by Lindiwe Matshikiza, then there’s a good chance these seven “deadly new stories” might deliver.

Jemma Khan performs in We Didn’t Come to Hell for the Croissants. Photo: CuePix/Jane Berg

Some of the advertised writers didn’t deliver; they seem to have got lost in the system. The most disappointing is Lauren Beukes, but Louis Viljoen and Nicholas Spagnoletti are there too. The latter exercises his satirical, bent in the faux-naif Slothful Tale of Erasmus Blank, illustrated by Tony Wallis. A bizarre sports-themed restaurant created by Erasmus is his downfall in the end. Viljoen provides a truly dark tale, The Tragedians, which, with illustrations by Dave Jackson, references the graphic novel. There are no laughs in this revenge tale, a typically Viljoen heady mix of sex and violence.

The show ends with Lebogang Mogashoa’s Spaghetti of the Whores, a truly graphic story, which gives new meaning to the term “food porn”. It culminates in some accomplished tassel-twirling by Kahn, and also by her suitably offbeat sidekick Roberto Pombo, who provides accordion accompaniment to a song-story, and some bizarre sound effects. Sadly, his attempt to hassle me for money for his solo accordion piece failed. He and Kahn open the show with a fetish-driven sex scene, which sort of sets the tone.

The retiring Japanese persona Kahn adopted in The Epicene Butcher here is replaced by a strong, dominating South African woman, which is particularly effective in Rosa Lyster’s motivational speaker sketch-cum-story, Enemies and How to Love Them. Here Kahn shows what a good actor can do when well directed. There are moments of hesitation, and only six stories were told. But balance this against some neat improvisation when audience members behaved badly, and it all evens out.

Jemma Kahn’s sequel to The Epicene Butcher, her first Japanese illustrated form of story-telling, is a worthy successor, and different enough to satisfy those who relentlessly require “something new”. You won’t get croissants, but you’ll have a helluva time.

Nigel Vermaas
Cue Specialist Writer

 

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