Masidlale’s Japanese-infused work returns to Jozi


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KOCHIRA こちら returns to Jozi stages in March.
KOCHIRA こちら returns to Jozi stages in March.

KOCHIRA こちら returns to Jozi stages in March. Masidlale’s Japanese-infused work is at the POPart Theatre in Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg, from March 16-19.

After a successful run on the Arena programme at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2016, Khutjo Green and Tristan Jacobs bring Kochira back home to Gauteng audiences.

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The solo work investigates ritualistic physical theatre infused with rakugo attitudes and clown performance.

The gist: A wanderer, with a calling to shamanic possession, must navigate the confusing, and downright unknown, task provided for him by his absent master. The story unfolds with humour, nostalgia and pathos accompanied by the deft musical score of Vid Gobac; the inquisitive animation of Sam Munro and the aberrant costume design of Cammie Behrens.

KOCHIRA こちら returns to Jozi stages in March.
KOCHIRA こちら returns to Jozi stages in March.

The play forms part of a performance-as-research inquiry into the debris of memory in live theatre and performative communion with the dead/lost. Interacting with the dead invites an awareness of the concept of kegare. Kegare is a Japanese term for the unclean, or defilement (but maybe more notably translated as ‘contamination’). Makiko Hanami (2012) says that kegare stirs within society when equilibrium between man and nature is broken. This research examines the consequences this has for communication in/of the theatre. By investigating the process and performance of Kochira as case study, the research contemplates autobiographical awareness, the self-archive, as a means of communicating from ‘within’ and drawing from ‘below’.

This research was originally presented at the SACOMM conference in Bloemfontein in 2016 and is currently under peer-review for publication.

Tickets are R80 online, R100 at the door.

To book tickets,


(If you do not know what that says, that’s ok, Momo Bambeni’s full article and review is accessible at

For more details on Masidlale, visit their website at


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