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GREIG WOWS EDINBURGH & HILTON (article first published : 2000-09-15)

Greig Coetzee recently returned from the Edinburgh festival - undoubtedly the world's largest arts festival - where his perennial audience favourite White Men With Weapons reached it's 450th performance and received two more awards to bring the total award tally now to 21!

Greig decided to take the show, directed by award-winning Garth Anderson, to Edinburgh in order to create a profile in the United Kingdom as a writer. To finance the trip he sold his bakkie to add to the income he earned at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and set off for Edinburgh at the beginning of August. The hope was that a good run of White Men would attract enough attention to interest foreign theatres in his un-produced plays.

The last thing he expected was to be selected as Best Actor on the Edinburgh Fringe 2000, one of three awards for acting excellence (the others are best actress and best ensemble) presented by The Stage - a weekly London newspaper focusing on the theatre industry. The nominees are selected from the 300 different shows reviewed during the month-long festival. The judges singled out the Best Actor award saying that the standard of nominees in this category was the highest since the Awards began three years ago.

The other award Greig received was a Fringe First. Between 15 and 20 of the many hundreds of shows on the Fringe are selected for these awards by the Scotsman newspaper and they are "awarded for innovation in theatre and outstanding new production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe". Another South African show, A Woman in Waiting - by Yael Farber and Thembi Mtshali, also received a Fringe First.

Back home in KZN at the Hilton Arts Festival, Greig has assembled a new platoon of South African men in Breasts. They’re out of uniform and into women! Men as South African as mealies and mini-buses - worried by Hansiegate, love handles and a hippie mother.

More details on the Hilton Arts Festival from (033) 3430126.




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