Youth speak out in The Fall at Baxter

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The Fall
The Fall

Back by public demand, The Fall returns to the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio during Youth Month from 8 to 24 June at 19h00 nightly, with Saturday matinees at 14h30.

The media and audiences raved about the sold-out production. Veteran arts journalist, Adrienne Sichel described it as “… a gestating, carefully-crafted, seminal theatre piece with evolving performances, excellent design and production values. Embedded within this artistic alchemy are incendiary issues of race, black identity, gender, intersectionality, patriarchy, political and social inequality.”

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The Fall
The Fall

The Cape Times was most encouraging, saying, “There is indeed a new world to be won in South Africa and these young actors are at the forefront of the battle” and the Argus Tonight hailed it as “…an insightful must for anyone who wants to understand …”

The Fall is a candid collaborative piece of workshop theatre based on the experiences of seven UCT graduates during the #RhodesMustFall and subsequent student movements, facilitated by Clare Stopford, and curated by Ameera Conrad and Thando Mangcu, two members of the collective.

The vibrant cast comprises Conrad (Don’t Shoot the Harbinger, People Beneath Our Feet); Oarabile Ditsele (Woza Albert, Identirrhaging); Tankiso Mamabolo (Nothing But the Truth, Fabulous Nothing); Mangcu (Don’t shoot the Harbinger, The Shipment); Sizwesandile Mnisi (Woza Albert, Connestion to Home); Sihle Mnqwazana (My Children! My Africa, Identirrhaging); and Cleo Raatus (Black Dog/inj’emnyama, District Six Kanala).

The Fall remains vitally relevant given the ongoing discourse at tertiary institutions across South Africa. The production adds its voice to the national and global debate and youth-led revolutions against injustice and inequality in education, cultural representation and many other current struggles.

The mass student movement (and those that followed on throughout 2016 in South Africa) sparked worldwide discourse and action. Social categories such as race, class and gender, as well as the ideas of patriarchy and sexism – each of these themes at the centre of universal conversations and tragedies rife in today’s society – are tackled bluntly as the production seeks to address all forms of discrimination.

The Fall wishes to bridge the generational gap between the perspective, attitudes and motivations of the current generation and that of the older generation on contemporary issues such as colonisation, sexuality and racial discrimination. The play also reviews the gains made and the developments that have occurred as a result of the student rallies.

While the play does not offer solutions to the questions raised by the movements, it hopes to create and nurture dialogue on the intersectional and institutionalised discrimination against the marginalised.

Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Research Chair of Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University, wrote “With all the images of violence in the media, it can be easy to lose sight of what sustains the journey that began with Rhodes. The Fall takes back the narrative and invites the audience to look beyond the headlines and to see the real human stories. It is a powerfully acted play, a profoundly complex and moving portrait of students’ struggle to free themselves from the burden of the historical legacy they inherited.”

Particularly significant during youth month, The Fall project began after the run of Barney Simon’s Black Dog/ Inj’emnyama, at the Baxter Flipside and Hiddingh Campus in 2015, which tells the story of students in the 1976 uprisings. It inspired the notion of reflecting on the lives of people of colour in 2016. The project begged the question “If we can tell a story about 1976 so adequately, why can’t we tell a story about ourselves, now, in 2016?” and thus came as a healing process from the experience of Black Dog/Inj’emnyama.

Set design for the production is by the acclaimed Patrick Curtis, with lighting design by Luyanda Somkhence and costume design by Marisa Steenkamp.

The Fall opens on 8 June and runs until 24 June at 19h00 nightly, with Saturday matinees at 14h30 on 10, 17 and 24 June. There is an age restriction of 16 years.

Tickets cost R130 Monday to Thursday and R150 Friday to Saturday. There is a student special of R100 on presentation of a valid student identity card and R49 for UCT students (available only at the Baxter box office). There is also an early bird special of R60, available for bookings made by 31 May 2017.

Booking through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite or Checkers outlet. For corporate, block or school bookings, charities and fundraisers, contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or Sharon.ward@uct.ac.za or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993, or e-mail Carmen.kearns@uct.ac.za

For more information visit: www.baxter.co.za, Facebook.com/BaxterTheatre, twitter.com/BaxterTheatre; #TheFall

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