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Magnet Theatre’s powerful G7: Okwe-Bokhwe for Cape Town and NAF

Multiple award-winning Magnet Theatre presents G7: Okwe-Bokhwe directed by Mandla Mbothwe and starring the talented graduates of the fifth Magnet Theatre training programme.  

Magnet Theatre G7: Okwe-Bokhwe
Magnet Theatre’s production of G7: OKWE-BOKHWE runs in Cape Town and at the National Arts Festival, Makhanda. PHOTO MARK WESSELS

G7: Okwe-Bokhwe (like/of a goat) will be performed at the P4 Studio at Hiddingh Hall campus from 12 to 22 June, followed by a run on 27, 28 and 29 June as part of the Main Programme at the National Arts Festival, Makhanda.
     This powerful production is based on the historical records of the Gugulethu Seven, seven young members of Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) who were ambushed and heartlessly killed by the South African security forces on the morning of 3 March, 1986, during the anti-apartheid struggle years. The Gugulethu Seven memorial was built on the site of the ambush to commemorate the life and death of those activists.
     G7: Okwe-Bokhwe was originally devised by Mbothwe with the fifth cohort of trainees on Magnet’s Full Time Training and Job Creation Programme 2017/2018 and performed at the Gugulethu Memorial site. The Magnet Theatre trainees now return as graduates and third year interns to perform the production for the 2019 tour.
     The production is a powerful active memorial that attempts to engage with a process of healing the pain of our collective past. The production is also regenerative, allowing the wounds of our history to be exposed, validated, and attended to. Drawing on the powerful language of the body, song and ritual G7: Okwe-Bokhwe honours the Gugulethu Seven and celebrates the power of theatre’s ability to heal.
     ‘What is memory, what does it do and what happens when the past meets the present? Our job as storytellers is to explore these questions and interrupt the sense that there is nothing we can do,’ says director Mandla Mbothwe. ‘As with this production, breaking out the forcibly archived stories should be at the centre of the journey to becoming a more human-faced nation.’
     Directed by Mandla Mbothwe, with Movement Direction by Jennie Reznek and assistant direction by Zukisani Nongogo, Design is by Linda Mandela Sejosingoe, Choreography by Mzo Gasa, Music by Babalwa Makwetu, Lighting Design by Themba Stewart with Text and Poetry created by the company and originally co-ordinated by Vuyokazi  Ngemntu.
     The cast features Magnet Theatre graduates: Abigail Mei, Carlo Daniels, Luxolo Mboso, Siyavuya Gqumehlo, Sivenathi Macibela, Sizwe Lubengu, Sityhilelo Makupula and Yvonne Msebenzi.
     Magnet Theatre is one of South Africa’s best known independent physical theatre companies that has been operating in and outside of South Africa for the past 31 years. Aside from its professional work, the company runs multi-layered educational programmes that are aimed at the transformation of young people’s lives and the theatre industry as a whole. Magnet Theatre runs the only suite of bridging programmes in theatre arts for unemployed youth in the Western Cape. In March 2019, Magnet was recognised by the provincial Western Cape Government with an award for outstanding contribution to Arts and Culture in the Drama category.
     Magnet Theatre’s Full Time Training and Job Creation Programme provides the only theatre arts ‘trade school’ of its kind in the Western Cape. It is evidenced to provide marginalised youth with access to education and employment. Of the almost 100 participants since 2008, the programme has been instrumental in facilitating access for 31 first generation university attendees.  Sixteen have graduated and 11 are still studying. Eighty per cent of the others have found employment in the profession, including various international tours. An incredible 98% of all graduates are either employed, self-employed or furthering their studies.
     Okwe-Bokhwe will be performed at the P4 Studio at Hiddingh Hall Campus in Orange Street, Gardens, from 12 – 22 June. There will be a preview on 12 June at 19:30, and the show will run on 13, 14, 18, 19 and 20 June at 19:30. There will be matinees on 16, 21 and 22 June at 14:00. There will be no show on 15 and 17 June.
     This will be followed by a run at the Rhodes Box Theatre at the National Arts Festival, Makhanda on 27 June at 19:00; on 28 June at 16:00 and 20:00; and on 29 June at 14:00.
     Tickets for P4 Studio cost R80 and R50 for students. Bookings can be made at Webtickets
     Tickets for the National Arts Festival run cost R80 with R75 concessions and can be booked at
     Age advisory PG (not for young children)

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