Jemma Kahn’s In Bocca al Lupo at the Market Theatre: awe-inspiring performance

Pick of the week from noticeboard

Please please don’t miss Jemma Kahn in In Bocca al Lupo showing until 21st May at the Ramalao Makhene Theatre in Newtown.  It is difficult to imagine what could rival  ‘The Epicene Butcher’ and ‘We Didn’t Come to Hell for the Croissants’. But Jemma Kahn’s third kamishibai show is as consummate as the first 2.  Using beautifully sketched and painted images on cardboard story panels, Kahn tells part of her life story which starts with teaching English in Japan and meeting Hige Rokusan, a Japanese Kamishibai performer. He

Kamishibai Performer on street in Japan. Source: aki.sato

taught her that a box of pictures could be used to tell a story like a mask or a puppet. It is with a hybrid, four paneled version of this box that Kahn details tiny moments of her life like a real time animation, sliding panels and your emotions across the stage as she tackles depression, culture shock, cancer, and a 1980s styling concept of dressing according to colour seasons.  From: interviews/2017-05-12-jemma-kahns-new-market-theatre-piece-takes-us-into-the-wolfs-mouth/

Story telling with 4 cardboard panels Source:

In Bocca al Lupo (which is the Italian equivalent of saying ‘break a leg’ to a performer prior to going on stage) is very very funny, very whacky, poignant, graphic and raunchy, thought-provoking and completely compelling and unforgettable. I am in total awe of Kahn’s talent – her drawing skills, her acting and performing skills, and her creative mind. It is indeed a ‘joyous tribute to visual and verbal story telling’.

In Bocca al Lupo premiered at the National Arts Festival in 2016. It’s produced by POPArt productions and Jemma Kahn in association with the National Arts Festival and Arts and Culture Trust and Nedbank Arts Affinity.

It’s mostly written by Jemma Kahn with the help of  Tertius Kapp  and is directed by the talented Jane Taylor who was Kahn’s drama professor at Wits and who has collaborated so successfully with the Handspring Puppet Company and William Kentridge.

Information board for the new Market Theatre extension
Looking up to the 1st floor






And the new Ramaola Makhene Theatre is in a fabulously refurbed building across the road from the Market Theatre.  Along with the theatre there are various rehearsal rooms, change rooms, meeting rooms and admin spaces.


Ground floor of the new Market Theatre space

The interior finishes with a stunning carpet, contemporary murals and wonderful curvilinear sight lines, make for a great renovation of this old building. So worth a visit. 

There is convenient safe parking underground in Newtown Junction easily accessed off Miriam Makheba St. From take Jan Smuts Ave, over Nelson Mandela Bridge, right into Carr St and left into Miriam Makheba St. 

Enjoy the show! 

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