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Subversive storytelling in Kgafela oa Magogodi’s allegory Chilahaebolae

T

he Wits School of Art, Division of Theatre and Performance andWits Theatre in the partnership with Market Theatre Foundation are proud to present Kgafela oa Magogodi’s satirical play Chilahaebolae set to run in the Barney Simon Theatre at the Market Theatre from 19 to 27th May.

Chilahaebolae is the allegorical tale of Phokobje, the Jackal who sets out in search of his long-lost friend Mpja, the dog. He soon discovers that things are not as they once were. Now Mpja swims in the fat of Chilahaebolae’s suburban bliss. Phokobje’s sudden appearance is an unwelcome interruption and an unpleasant reminder of Mpja’s betrayal. Cracks on the edifice of their brotherhood grow wider and deeper.

What follows is a theatrical tale that taps into the Basarwa tradition of subversive storytelling. The antics of these animal proxies take the audience on a journey packed with laughter and adventure, while opening a window into a neo-colonial world.

In Chilahaebolae he works across a number of South African languages including English and Setswana and Scamto or tsotsi taal. Kgafela oa Magogodi’s experimental work in stand-up poetry, spoken-word theatre, live music and essay writing has found audiences across the country and the globe. His work has been translated into various languages including German, Dutch, French andCatalan. He has worked extensively in the theatre, both as a director and leader of spoken-word workshops that mix character development, storytelling, interpretive dance and political text. Magogodi’s approach to spoken word theatre took shape over a decade of experimental workshops where he was casting and directing Wits University Drama School students, New York University students as well as an independent poetry group based at the University of the North West.

Paul Noko plays the role of Phokobje. Noko has acted in number of productions including Grimm Tales at the Market Theatre, Story of theAfrican Choir at the Grahamstown International Festival, Echoeswhich won the first community award created by the Naledi Awards and Tau which won an award at the Zwakala Festival in 2016. He is deeply committed to community theatre development and has been involved in number of theatrical projects and workshops. He is currently involved in community theatre development in Soweto and was recently nominated for a Fleur du Cap young directors award.

Opposite Noko is Sibusiso Mkhize in the role of Mpja, the dog. An accomplished performer from a young age, Mkhize has recently graduated from theUniversity of the Witwatersrand with a BA (Hons) in Dramatic Arts. He has appeared in television productions such as Cooking Magic, SoulBuddies and was a cast member of the Oscar-winning film Tsotsi. He has a number of theatre productions under his belt including Meagan Wilson’s Ruined and Prince Lamla’s Thari.

The other BA Dramatic Arts students in the production include Zimkhitha Mohlabeng who plays Katse. Mohlabeng was runner up in both the nationwide Montenegro Dance Acrobatic Competition and National Acrobatics IAASA. Motho is played by Abongile Matyutyu, who has a number of performances behind him in various South African Theatres including: Exile, Roadto Damascus, Apprehension, Same Difference, The Kraal, Lenong La Gauta, Selfie le Jesu, Them Too and Tormented Essence. His greatest achievements performing as a student include Thari directed by Prince Lamla, Ruined directed by Meagan Wilson and Smallanyana Skeleton directed by Kgafela oa Magogodi.

Nolitha Radebe who started her acting career in Prince Lamla’s Thariat the Market Theatre plays the character of Mokotoi; she is joined by Nakesa Ndou who plays Phiri. In her first year at Wits Ndou worked with WitsAlumni – Feeya Asmal and Kirsten Stewart on the POP Art production Creatures, where she learnt mask work and improvisation.

Young pianist Zipho Mokoena who plays the The Zookeeper and Bova brings a passion for music and the dramatic arts to his performance. Following a few months of formal piano lessons, he started teaching himself. Over and above studying for his Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts he works as a music producer. Fourth year dramatic arts student Shane Veeran playing The CircusMaster is currently majoring in Directing and Writing, while triple major JoelLeonard is the Butcher. His majors are Performance, Physical Theatre andWriting. Community inspired Siphosam Kamwendo is in the role of the FashionDesigner. Drama allows her to positively impact the lives of those around here specially the youth.

“Three years ago we decided to find new and exciting ways to partner with Wits University, collaborating on productions presented by ourLaboratory and their Drama Department. In the last three years we have curated a work from Wits for the mid year slot. We have also created a space for their students to come in as interns in the different departments at the Market,”says James Ngcobo Artistic Director of the Market Theatre Foundation.

“As part of the conversation that we program here, that features some of the best in our industry, Wits is always the first institution that we invite to participate in a moment where we engage each other and dissect concepts together. We aim to make sure that in the coming years we nurture this relationship,” he added.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION

Wits Theatre and Wits School of Arts/Division of Theatre and Performance

VENUE
Barney Simon Theatre

SEASON
19 May – 28 May 2017

19 @ 20:15
24 @15:15
25 @ 20:15
26 @20:15
27@ 20:15
28 @20:15

BOOKING
www.webtickets.co.za or at the door.

TICKETS
Tickets are available online or at the door.
Full price =R85.00; online = R75.00

Wits staff, students, pensioners and SAG members
Full price =R65.00; online discount price = R60.00

Block bookings of 10 or more less 20%
Wits Tix R10:00 online and R15:00 at the door only on 19 May

To make block bookings, please contact Anthony Ezeoke
011 832 1641 ext 203 
or 083 246 4950

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