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Sunday, June 16, 2019


For the second year running, the Market Theatre Laboratory will be represented on the Main, Fringe and Student platforms of the National Arts Festival in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown), creating a compelling presence and affirming the importance of theatre created and performed by young people about their contemporary realities.

Where do news headlines go to die? Does the news serve or control the people? The Market Theatre Laboratory’s final year students interrogate this and other questions around identity, propaganda, individuality, control and agency in Le Journal, presented for the first time on the National Arts Festival’s student theatre platform. The world of the neglected newsreel, the headlines that are everywhere one moment and gone without a trace the next, create a rich and relevant world for this exciting new play. Last year, the Market Theatre Laboratory scooped Best Production in the Student Awards for Marose, and this production intends to continue the Market Theatre Laboratory’s record of presenting excellent and watchable student theatre.

Kwasha! Theatre Company, a collaborative project between the Market Theatre Laboratory and the Windybrow Arts Centre, will be presenting two exciting works. On the main platform, DEURnis/ Uzwelo will see Kwasha! collaborating with Theatrerocket’s award-winning DEURnis artists on an innovative new immersive theatre experience. In this site-specific production, solo plays are performed in different spaces in a house or building for a single audience member at a time, making for an extraordinarily intimate experience. Each play lasts about 20 minutes, and the audience members move from one space to the next to experience different stories taking an honest, often sober look at emotional and everyday issues.

Kwasha! will also present their self-created work, Currently (G)old, directed by company members Sinenhlanhla Mgeyi and Aalliyah Matintela, and mentored by Market Theatre Laboratory alumni Prince Lamla. Currently Gold explores how young South Africans perceive and exercise their human rights, using satire to interrogate and at times ridicule their relevance to the lived experience of many people in South Africa.

While this range of theatre offerings is diverse in performance style and content, it is united in that it offers original, contemporary theatre that speaks to the current reality of young people in Johannesburg and beyond, to festival audiences.

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