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The Fall review at Assembly Hall, Edinburgh – ‘powerfully driven docudrama’

Cast of The Fall. Photo: Fahiem Stellenboom Cast of The Fall. Photo: Fahiem Stellenboom
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Bursting out with song and powerful monologues that reflect the experiences of the seven-strong ensemble cast, The Fall tells of events at the University of Cape Town in March 2015, when students militated to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes from campus.

As a drama documentary account of recent history it joyfully demonstrates the validity of the black cultural experience in the face of the white, Euro-centric one which dominates South African student life.

More than an account of the single cause, however, this goes deeper into contemporary South African politics by confronting the divisions over gender, patriarchy, race and class that split the movement when the statue had come down and the struggle turned to other issues.

Lead by the superb Zandile Madliwa as a leader of the Black Radical Feminist movement and Cleo Raatus as non-binary UTC council rep, this begins to roar when the students get to confront and being to understand each other’s own issues.

Ameera Conrad, in particular, provides an outstanding tirade that brings all the issues into focus. But this is a truly ensemble production which has both teeth and heart. And one which stands for student revolt around the world and down the ages.

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Powerfully driven docudrama frames student revolt with song