The Last King of Kakfontein

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The 2017 archive

Boyzie Cekwana

Durban / Created in 2017

At once a brutal fairy tale and a Shakespearean tragedy that uses dance, video, and live music, this play follows a tyrant wandering the halls of his cardboard palace while singing his own praises.
The Last King of Kakfontein © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

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At once a brutal fairy tale and a Shakespearean tragedy that uses dance, video, and live music, Boyzie Cekwana's latest creation focuses on a democratic tyrant. The Last King wanders the petrified halls of his cardboard palace and sings his own praises “like blood oozing from a wounded body.” Imagined during the American Presidential election, inspired by the situation in South Africa and Europe, Kakfontein analyses the behaviour of the demagogues who have risen to power and comments their repeated attacks on the democratic project. Is our time that different from the 1930s? How can we have given up on the hope created by the long marches for civil rights? In a way reminiscent of the songs and dances of protest that set the streets of Johannesburg on fire in the 1980s, the South African choreographer stages the downfall of those new cynical kings who trample the social contract and try to silence dissent. A piece that reminds us that Boyzie Cekwana, a major figure in the world of dance in South Africa, is much more than a maker of shows: he is a look-out who never tires of questioning society and denouncing its changes when they attack rights and freedom.



Direction, choreography, stage design, costumes Boyzie Cekwana
Music  Madala Kunene, Mandisa Nzama
Lights Matthews Phala
Video Lungile Cekwana

With Boyzie Cekwana, Lungile Cekwana
And Madala Kunene (guitar), Mandisa Nzama (singer)


Production Randomirekshnz
Co-production Zürcher Theater Spektakel (Zurich), Festival d'Avignon, Festival de Marseille, Spielart Festival München (Munich), HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin)
With the support of Fondation BNP Paribas for the 71st edition of the Festival d'Avignon
Co-hosting Festival d'Avignon, La Chartreuse de Villeneuve lez Avignon
In partnership with France Médias Monde



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