Published on May 25th, 2018 | by Admin
Arts Centre Melbourne presents the Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town ‘The Fall’, August 28 -September 2
Following a critically acclaimed season at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, having received two top awards and multiple five-star reviews, South African theatre production The Fall will make its Australian debut in the Fairfax Theatre for six shows only from August 28 to September 2 as part of Art Centre Melbourne’s Big World, Up Close series. This stunning piece of documentary political theatre is led by a powerhouse young ensemble who connect to their audience through story-telling and song.
Rising from the #RhodesMustFall movement, this collaborative piece of theatre emerges from the heart of South Africa, written and performed by an ensemble of seven students who were involved in the uprising. Race, class, gender, sexism, colonialism and ideologies of patriarchy – core to global conversations and interventions today – are recounted in personal experiences and tackled head-on, seeking to unpack discrimination in all its forms.
In April 2015, a student revolution at the University of Cape Town rocked South Africa and made waves around the world. The movement successfully sought to bring down the statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes, situated at the foot of the university’s famous Jameson Steps, in protest of the white, Euro-centric cultural experience which dominated South African student life. The campaign for the statue’s removal led to a wider movement to decolonise education across South Africa, garnering global attention.
When the statue of Cecil John Rhodes was dismantled, seven postgraduate students wrote The Fall. It took South Africa by storm during the #RhodesMustFall, #FeesMustFall and subsequent student movements’ demonstrations in 2015. Seeking to unpack discrimination in all its forms, the play does not offer solutions to the questions raised by the movements which inspired it, but hopes to create and nurture dialogue. The Fall adds its voice to the national and worldwide debate and youth- led revolutions against injustices, inequality in education, cultural representation and many other contemporary conflicts.
The Fall explores decolonization, institutional racism, privilege, systemic oppression, identity, gender and the power of protest and is written by Ameera Conrad, Oarabile Ditsele, Kgomotso Khunoane, Tankiso Mamabolo, Thando Mangcu, Sizwesandile Mnisi, Sihle Mnqwazana and Cleo Raatus.
Lara Foot, CEO and Artistic Director of the Baxter Theatre Centre says, “ I am delighted that this dynamic production of The Fall is making its Australian debut at the prestigious Arts Centre Melbourne and especially in the Big World, Up Close performance series. I hope that in the future we can continue many more such collaborations which focus on and showcase work that speaks truth to power and reflects what is current and vital in our societies”
The Baxter Theatre Centre is a vibrant, multicultural entertainment hub in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. Nestled under the striking Devil’s Peak mountain and at the foot of the University of Cape Town, the Baxter boasts a world-class theatre and concert hall, as well as a studio stage, rehearsal rooms, offices, a restaurant, bars and an impressive spacious foyer. Built in 1976, the Baxter was a pillar of hope during the apartheid era. By leveraging its strong relationship with the University of Cape Town, the theatre was able to present multiracial, progressive work at a time when all other non-racial interactivity was banned or censored. The first interracial kiss ever on a South African stage took place during the Baxter’s first production of Miss Julie in 1985, while their version of Mies Julie storms theatres all around the world.
The Fall had a triumphant season at Edinburgh in 2017 and following this season at Assembly Festival, it transferred to the Royal Court, London and later to St Ann’s Warehouse in New York. The production has won The Scotsman Fringe First Award, The Stage Edinburgh Cast Award and the Fleur Du Cap Special Encore Award.
The Fall is part of Big World, Up Close – a powerhouse performance series showcasing the most compelling new works from across the globe. Tapping into urgent energies from Africa to the Middle East and Australia’s own shores, each piece in the series reveals profound and personal stories told by vital voices in music and theatre. Launched in 2017, Arts Centre Melbourne’s contemporary winter performance series features works that are created by artists from diverse backgrounds that promote conversations around pressing cultural and political issues. In addition to The Fall, the Big World, Up Close program features TAHA, the award-winning lyrical story of the life of Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali and Native Tongue by Mojo Juju, a musician of Indigenous Australian and Filipino heritage.
WINNER – Scotsman Fringe First Award 2017
WINNER – The Stage Edinburgh Cast Award 2017
WINNER – Fleur Du Cap Special Encore Award
NOMINATED – Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award 2017
The New York Times Critic’s Pick
“Powerfully driven docudrama frames student revolt with song” – ★★★★★ The Stage
★★★★★ – Sunday Express
★★★★★ – British Theater Guide
“This show pulses with life” ★★★★ The Scotsman
“… stirring ensemble theater piece from South Africa’s fertile Baxter Theater Centre” – The New York Times
Arts Centre Melbourne presents The Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town
August 28-September 2 2018
Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Theatre
Tuesday 28 August- Saturday 1 September, 7:30pm
Sunday 2 September, 5pm
Duration: 80 minutes, no interval
Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au and 1300 182 183