The Market Theatre Foundation is set to make an impact at this year’s National Arts Festival, showcasing the creative prowess of The Market Theatre, The Market Theatre Laboratory, and The Market Photo Workshop. Greg Homann, the Artistic Director of The Market Theatre Foundation, expresses his excitement, stating, “We are keen to have a strong presence at this year’s festival, where we are bringing two new South African plays, a stimulating photographic exhibition, and a dynamic facilitated conversation.”
One of the highlights presented by The Market Theatre Foundation is The Market Theatre’s production of J Bobs Tshabalala’s Khongolose Khommanding Khommissars (KKK), directed by the brilliant Theatre Duo, Billy Langa and Mahlatsi Mokgonyana, who are recognized as the 2022 Standard Bank Young Artists for Theatre this year. Festival-goers may remember Langa’s exceptional performance in the acclaimed and multi-award-winning one-man show Tswalo, directed by Mokgonyana.
Khongolose Khommanding Khommissars (KKK) delves into the intricate web between politicians and businessmen that contributes to South Africa’s current chaotic political landscape. It explores the perpetuation of an elitist culture of greed through corruption utilizing a “game of words” or what one might call, “Comrade-speak”, that disguises the farce of socio-political revolution. Homann states, “Through Theatre Duo’s theatrically rich approach to Tshabalala’s text, Langa and Mokgonyana promise a highly creative and playful experience that boldly explores the power dynamics that pervade our country.”
Following its National Arts Festival premiere on 30 June, Khongolose Khommanding Khommissars (KKK) will run at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg from 26 July to 6 August. This groundbreaking satire is made possible by the generous support of the Eyesizwe Mining Development Trust, alongside additional financial contributions from the National Arts Festival, Business Arts South Africa (BASA), and the National Arts Council.
The Market Theatre Laboratory, the educational arm of The Market Theatre Foundation, presents two compelling works in Makhanda. The first offering, KiDDING, is a dynamic and innovative devised performance that seamlessly blends dance, music, and text. Under the guidance of mentor Stella Dlangalala and directed by fellow student Thabang Chauke, second-year students from The Market Theatre Laboratory bring to life untold stories of young individuals struggling to navigate the pressures of school, friendship, and the digital world. This production, with its attention to detail and lived understanding of the challenges faced by today’s youth, is a must-see for those interested in contemporary theatre and the narratives that shape our society.
The second offering from The Market Theatre Laboratory is a collaborative venture led by J Bobs Tshabalala, once again working alongside the Theatre Duo. Titled Think Tank: The Dope Shop meets the Art Spaza, this one-night only event on 28 June seeks to turn “Audiences of Art” into “Consumers of Product.” Embracing Tshabalala’s interactive sketch style, the work incorporates audience engagement through a live auction. The performance will be a high-energy joyride of song, dance, and text, reflecting the Theatre Duo’s distinctive physical and vocal approach.
The Market Photo Workshop, the fourth offering from The Market Theatre Foundation, presents a captivating photographic exhibition that showcases the vision and artistry of its talented photographers. Through a compelling collection of images, the exhibition explores diverse themes, offering unique perspectives and narratives that capture the essence of contemporary South Africa. The Market Photo Workshop in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture will present a group exhibition titled “Ukubakho Nokubona”. The exhibition presents a selection of photographs by 8 female photographers who participated in a training project that capacitated the participants in using photography as a tool for awareness in telling their own stories and lived experiences as women in the Eastern Cape communities.
The exhibition reflects on a photographic interaction that has mediated community experiences of the women from across the various municipal districts in the Eastern Cape. This iteration gives audiences the opportunity to engage with different photo narratives on the photographers’ lived realities. The exhibition explores themes of culture, social change, openness, democracy, identity, social inclusion and gender issues.
The Market Theatre Foundation’s presence at this year’s National Arts Festival promises an array of stimulating experiences. From the thought-provoking play Khongolose Khommanding Khommissars (KKK) to the dynamic offering of KiDDING, Think Tank and the Ukubakho Nokubona Photographic Exhibition, audiences can expect a diverse and engaging exploration of South Africa’s rich cultural landscape.