The National Arts Festival pretty much reflects the theatre scene as a whole. There is still not enough black theatre, and there are not enough black audience members. It’s largely a matter of economics but it’s also related to artistic will.
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Over a crunchy pear in our offices, Cue chatted to the creative visionary behind the Festival hit We Didn’t Come to Hell for the Croissants, which uses the ancient Japanese art of kamishibai (paper theatre) to tell seven wickedly wonderful stories.
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.
A heavily accented voice mutters sadistically over the sound-system as audience anticipation builds. Words about stories for consenting adults are whispered under eyebrows arched in significance. All of a sudden, irregular minor chords break into the darkness and the lights come up: two enlarged and lurid plaster persona masks are leering down on the pandemonium that is about to break out.
Social media is a key tool in engaging with the National Arts Festival. But, are selfies taken during performances acceptable? Can you watch a play while live tweeting it?
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