The Epicene Butcher is back at the Alexander Bar after years on the road touring this global cult hit. Creator Jemma Kahn took a wee break to delight and astound us with her subsequent stories – including In Bocca Al Lupo and Cellist with Rabies. But now she’s dusted off her magic picture box and is ready to give The Epicene Butcher a fresh turn.
The Epicene Butcher and Other Stories for Consenting Adults returns to satiate the demands of those who missed it and those who couldn’t get enough of it. The show uses the 12th century Japanese Buddhist story-telling tradition of Kamishiba to tell seven startling pop stories. Kamishibai, literally translated as paper play, originated as a form of children’s street theatre in the early 1930’s. Storytellers would travel from village to village on bicycle, telling stories with the use of illustrated paper panels that slid out of a specially crafted wooded stage. The Epicene Butcher is a mash-up of manga, sex, gothic horror and mainstream popular culture using hand-drawn illustrations and luscious narration. It’s a unique theatrical treat!
The show has been performed 400 times around the world, and has received numerous awards to date, including from the National Arts Festival, Fringe Amsterdam, Musho! Theatre Festival and more. Even Annie Lennox, who saw the show in its original run at the Alexander Bar, said: “Jemma Kahn is brilliant. I came away with my mind slightly blown.”
Jemma Kahn was selected as one of M&G’s Top 200 Young South Africans in 2013 and as one of AfriPOP’s Top 5 Women to Watch in SA Theatre. She studied Fine Art, Performance and Theatre Design at Wits.
What: The Epicene Butcher and Other Stories for Consenting Adults
Where and when: Alexander Bar from 27 August to 7 September 2019