Some might question why Jemma Kahn, a South African, has made the Japanese kamishibai style of theatre-making her "thing." But in her visual narrating universe, it allows her to frame darkly satirical slices of life that resonate from Amsterdam to Zeerust. She has reinvented the ancient Asian form and has made it her own. Traditional kamishibai used a box containing a set of picture cards that were changed as the narrating of a tale progressed. Kahn’s art consists of herself and perhaps one other performer on stage using illustrated boards, telling often disturbing stories about human foibles and frailties. Over the past five years, Johannesburg-bred Kahn has earned an almost fanatical cult following with her smash indie theatre hits The Epicene Butcher and Other Stories for Consenting Adults, We Didn’t Come to Hell for the Croissants and In Bocca al Lupo. Now, she’s bagged the 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for theatre. And it all stems from seeing the underground entertainm...

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