South Africa’s National Arts Festival presents:
The Epicene Butcher and Other Stories for Consenting Adults Through the Japanese medium of Kamishibai, artist and performer Jemma Kahn relates the tragedy of The Epicene Butcher, a man who died because he ate what he loved. Other stories include Japanese classics and unwholesome tales of immoderate desire. Expect beautiful pictures and horrible ideas.
Directly translated, kamishibai means ‘paper play’. It is a traditional form of Japanese street theatre where pictures are slotted into a “Punch and Judy” style stage and revealed one at a time with vocal narration. As a form, kamishibai includes story telling, illustration and performance. There are less than 100 kamishibai performers left in Japan. Whilst living in Japan, Kahn studied kamishibai, under veteran performer Rokuda Genji.
Kahn and Rokuda wrote and performed collaboratively, most notably at the Atomic Bomb Memorial Day event in Hiroshima, 2009. In this production, the art of kamishibai is mis-used by the creators to tell stories of lust, violence and hysteria, the culmination of which is something not unlike an ex-patriots experience of Japan.
The show’s title story, The Epicene Butcher goes back to Japan’s Edo period (1603 – 1868) to tell the gothic tragedy of Japan’s most beautiful woman and most talented butcher.
Jemma Kahn – writer & illustrator, performer
Jemma studied Fine Art and Drama at Wits. She has been performing since graduation, most recently in Jane Taylor’s After Cardenio, Cape Town 2011. Her theater design could be seen most recently in Helen Iskander’s Planet B at the National Arts Festival. Jemma lived in Japan for 2 years, and now lives and works in Johannesburg.
Kahn, representing Greene’s soul, is superb… [she] commands our gaze like a kindly guide leading us through a hall of mirrors. - Steve Kretsmann reviews After Cardenio, West Cape News
What really makes the piece a success … is Helen Iskander’s direction of images, and the masterful set already mentioned. – Anton Kreuger, Planet B review, Cue
John Trengove – director
Johannesburg based director John Trengove studied theatre at UCT and completed a master’s degree in filmmaking at NYU. His career has spanned theatre, narrative film, documentary and various experimental works. In 2010 his mini-series Hopeville won the prestigious Rose d’Or award for best drama and was nominated for an International Emmy in the same year. 2012 sees him returning to theatre with two one-woman shows, The Epicene Butcher and So You Think You Can Love?
Gwydion Beynon – writer
Gwydion Beynon has written for television for many years with such shows to his credit as Jacob’s Cross, Zone 14 and Muvhango and. He began his career writing for community radio. This is his first time writing for theatre.
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Notitie van 31634570**** op 5 september 18:28
Two cheeky gals, one mute, the other telling wonderful illustrated stories with perfect diction. Enchanting!
Notitie van 31654631**** op 4 september 22:26
heel tof! Great performance!!
Notitie van 31644553**** op 4 september 21:34
Notitie van 31625299**** op 4 september 21:06
\"short ecstatic review\"
Notitie van 31621275**** op 4 september 21:06
Amazing evening! I want more of this!!!
Notitie van 31648310**** op 1 september 22:46