Theatre production, Memory is a Weapon, will have its inaugural show at the Arena Theatre at the Artscape, detailing the struggles faced by young people growing up on the Cape Flats. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency
Theatre production, Memory is a Weapon, will have its inaugural show at the Arena Theatre at the Artscape, detailing the struggles faced by young people growing up on the Cape Flats. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency

Struggles of young people on Cape Flats take centre stage at the Artscape

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Aug 27, 2021

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Cape Town - The often onerous lived realities of life on the Cape Flats is set to take centre stage at the Artscape Theatre Centre today.

Following nearly ten years of conceptualisation, theatre production Memory is a Weapon will have its inaugural show at the Arena Theatre at the Artscape, detailing the struggles faced by young people growing up on the Cape Flats.

With influences of hip hop, the show looks at three young artists who feel trapped on the Cape Flats, navigating generational and personal struggles and limitations – hindering them from reaching their full potential and purpose.

Producer, director, writer and cast member Monishia Schoeman will be joined by fellow cast members Evangeline Fisher, Chavonne Matthys and Nathan Lodewyk.

The show aspires to dismantle widely perpetuated stereotypes on people from these communities, commonly painted as criminals, instead of complex and beautiful.

“Some of the themes we deal with in the production are related to the fact that we as people from the Cape Flats feel almost a sense of complacency – left out, displaced, as though we’re not a part of our world.

“So once, we’re able to turn inward and look back and not only look back and look deeper, I think we’ll begin to unlock memories that have been somehow suppressed, either from collective trauma or whatever the case may be,” said Schoeman.

Memory as a Weapon details the struggles faced by young Cape Flats individuals. The show with hip hop influences will showcase at the Artscape theatre on Friday and Saturday. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Memory as a Weapon details the struggles faced by young Cape Flats individuals. The show with hip hop influences will showcase at the Artscape theatre on Friday and Saturday. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Their intention is to take the production to schools, with a workshop using creative skills to convey messages of “upliftment, possibility and understanding”, and showcase it nationally and internationally at theatre festivals.

“We’ve stopped dreaming and we’ve stopped connecting with our ancestry, lineage and our heritage and we have disconnected and disassociated ourselves from the collective and I’m saying that that is what a major contributor is in the state of affairs for us as people living on the Cape Flats,” said Schoeman.

Artscape senior communications and brand manager, Simone Heradien, said: “Artscape is thus a home for all , and as a receiving house it affords its facilities to all artists and producers.

“It is thus crucial that a diverse range of inclusive productions are on offer, which includes indigenous artistic forms as well as formerly marginalised art forms such as jazz, hip-hop and even drag shows.”

Today’s show will take place at 6pm, followed by two shows tomorrow, at 2pm and 6pm.

Bookings can be made via Computicket or call Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 76 95.

Memory as a Weapon details the struggles faced by young Cape Flats individuals. The show with hip hop influences will showcase at the Artscape theatre on Friday and Saturday. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

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