Q fea­ture: THE FALL

Arts Cen­tre Mel­bourne presents the Bax­ter Theatre Cen­tre at the Uni­ver­sity of Cape Town THE FALL A pow­er­ful piece of doc­u­men­tary po­lit­i­cal theatre

Q Magazine - - Q Feature -

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 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 whi ch 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.

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.

Arts Cen­tre Mel­bourne presents The Bax­ter Theatre Cen­tre at the Uni­ver­sity of Cape Town The Fall Arts Cen­tre Mel­bourne, Fair­fax Theatre Tues­day 28 Au­gust- Satur­day 1 Septem­ber, 7:30pm Sun­day 2 Septem­ber, 5pm

Book­ings: https://www.arts­cen­tremel­bourne.com.au and 1300 182 183

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