Who’s Upstairs: Jemma Kahn

Jemma Kahn is the creative instigator behind ‘We didn’t come to Hell for the croissants: Seven Deadly New Stories for Consenting Adults’, catch her performance alongside Roberto Pombo from 14-19 December.

PUB1772dpi (1)Home town?
Johannesburg 

Tell us a little more about your show?
‘We Didn’t Come to Hell for the Croissants’ is the perverted little sister of The Epicene Butcher. So same format – seven stories told using kamishibai (Japanese paper theatre). Each story this time is written by a different SA writer and illustrated by a different illustrator. Like Butcher it’s still a rollicking jol, if a bit darker.

And what’s next on the cards for you?
Next year I want to make the last of the kamishibai trilogy – one long form story squeezing kamishibai a bit harder this time, in a visual sense – testing the limitations of the medium’s visual possibilities. If all goes according to plan, there will be opera glasses.

And the project you’re dreaming of?
The one I’m making next! And maybe a little art filim… 

How did you get into theatre?
In Std 2 when Mrs McCabe took me into our primary school costume room I nearly died. It was the best place in the world. She also cast me as Ratty when I was in Std 5 – my best role to date, I’d say. 

Dinner with any two figures from history: who would you invite and what would you serve them?
David Hockney and Kara Walker – both visual artists. I think the conversation would be lively! Hmmm…provided they both eat meat, I’d do a nice big fillet, rare – a salad with lot’s of radishes in it, and a tomato tart for starters. That’s all quite piquant so we could have something creamy and slippery for desert. You know? Jelly and cream. A big rainbow jelly with lots of cream.  

Favorite spot in Cape Town (besides Alexander Bar, obviously)?
Clarkes.

What excites you about theatre?
People who do cool shit, visually. I’m also very excited to see small venues like Alexander Bar and POPArt (JHB) gain traction in the indhustraay. 

What mistakes have you made and learned the most from?
The same two lessons I learn over and over are ‘calm down’ and ‘work harder’. Which unfortunately seem to cancel eachother out. 

Who do you think people should be talking about?
Lebo Mogashoa – and after his latest run of Storyteller’s I think people will be. It’s such a lekker format – Queer Church where all the freaks can come and feel love.