The Centre for the Less Good Idea was excited to host the first Joburg staging of The Borrow Pit - a kamishibai play loosely based on the lives of British painters Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon’s lover George Dyer.
The Borrow Pit, Jemma Kahn's new kamishibai production commissioned as her presentation as Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre 2018 will premiere at the National Arts Festival and then be performed briefly at The Centre of the Less Good Idea in Johannesburg. This strange and ambitious work stars Jemma Kahn, Tony Miyambo, David Viviers and Wilhelm Van Der Walt.
Jemma Kahn | Artist, director/producer
A theatre maker and film maker based in Johannesburg. The Borrow Pit is her commissioned work as Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre 2018. Jemma studied Fine Art and Drama at Wits University. Shortly after graduating Jemma spent two years in Japan which has had a strong impact on the content and form of her work. Her primary theatre focus is Japanese kamishibai or ‘paper theatre’, a 12th century highly visual storytelling medium. Jemma has been creating and performing kamishibai since 2009. All her kamishibai shows are intensely collaborative, bringing together a broad range of South African writers, illustrators and theatre makers. Her show The Epicene Butcher and other stories for Consenting Adults (2012 dir. John Trengove) was nominated for both a Fleur Du Cap Award and a Naledi Award in 2014. Internationally the show was awarded the Critic’s Choice at Amsterdam Fringe 2012, an Archangel Award at the Brighton festival in 2014 and was nominated for best theatre piece at FringeWorld Perth. Her second kamishibai show We Didn’t Come to Hell for the Croissants (2015 dir. Lindiwe Matshikiza) was workshopped as part of the 2015 Johannesburg Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale going on to travel extensively garnering both local and international acclaim. More recently Kahn was part of The Centre for the Less Good Idea’s first season in 2017, Johannesburg, where her first art film Somebody You’ve Already Painted Many Times from Memory was shown, in addition to her second film Beast Fur, commissioned by The Centre. Her autobiographical piece In bocca al lupo (2016 dir. Jane Taylor) produced by POPArt Theatre premiered at NAF in 2016 and received a Fleur Du Cap and Naledi nomination for best solo performance.
Marco Dutra | Writer, director and film composer
Dutra’s first feature film Trabalhar Cansa (Hard Labor) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. His most recent fantasy film As Boas Maneiras (Good Manners), co-written and co-directed with long-time collaborator Juliana Rojas, won the Special Jury Award at the Locarno Film Festival in 2017. Dutra is well known for his unusual approach to genre in his writing and direction.
Jaco B van Schalkwyk | Dramaturge
Artist, writer and film maker, van Schalkwyk studied Drawing at the Pratt Institute, New York receiving the Pratt Institute Golden Circle Award in 2003. His work is housed in private and corporate collections in South Africa, the USA and Europe. He is currently with David Krut Projects, exhibiting new drawings, sculptures and films this year in Johannesburg, Cape Town and New York. His first novel The Alibi Club was published in both English and Afrikaans in 2015 by Random House.
Rebecca Haysom | Illustrator
Artist and curator Rebecca Haysom studied Fine Art at Michaelis. Her first solo exhibition The Tiger’s Bride took place at Circa Gallery this year. Haysom is best known for her intricate collage work that explores female sexuality and cultural mythologies around women. She is the co-owner of Twilsharp Studios in Bertrams, Johannesburg where she curates exhibitions throughout the year.
Dimakatso Motholo | Stage Manager
Theatre maker and production manager Motholo is currently studying towards her MA in Cultural Policy and Management at Wits. She has completed internships at Moving Into Dance Mophatong, Wits Art Museum, Arts & Culture Trust and The Centre for the Less Good Idea. Through the Market Theatre Incubation programme, she was the stage manager for When Swallows Cry written by Mike van Graan, directed by Lesedi Job.
Wessel Snyman | Box Designer (Cape Town)
Artist, framer. Wessel Snyman graduated with a BA Fine Art from Stellenbosch University in 2008. As well as specialising in book binding and conservation, Snyman runs Wessel Snyman Creative, a bespoke picture framer that works closely with several major galleries and artists in Cape Town.
PHOTOGRAPHER | Jaco B van Schalkwyk