A devised drama by 7 University of Cape Town graduates examining the lead up and aftermath of the removal of the statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes on the UCT campus, The Fall takes a look at modern day decolonisation.
Watching the vibrant passion of these performers, it’s hard to comprehend that this is a rehearsed piece, done from memory. It seems too real, too organic, the surges of anger, pain and fear rising up from the cast and bursting into the audience too raw to be planned. The musical interludes add to this, curating a deeply emotional experience as they chant and march and dance across the stage in a reclamation of power.
The discussions they have open up a whole dialogue about the nuances of decolonisation and institutionalised racism, as well as other kinds of thoughtless prejudice. Men are criticised for their intrinsic sexist beliefs, while the feminists are called up on their lack of intersectionality by queer and non-binary performers in a considered look at how breaking down boundaries must mean breaking down all boundaries – not just the convenient ones.
With the current protests in America blasting across the news, this production feels especially timely. An education in privilege, The Fall fights for the power of all the oppressed in an impressive, heartfelt performance that won’t soon be forgotten.
Words: Chiara Margiotta
Photo: Fahiem Stellenboom
The Fall, Assembly Hall, Aug 26-27, 6.15pm