A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

festivals
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

FAMILY FARE AT NAF (article first published : 2008-06-15)

Just because the National Arts Festival is the biggest celebration of the arts on the African continent, doesn’t mean it’s exclusively for arts connoisseurs! Of course it caters to them with over a hundred premičres, lots of collaborations: geographical, cross-cultural and multidisciplinary, plenty of experimental theatre, and the best that South African writers, producers, directors, composers and choreographers have to offer. But there’s also a whole lot more to this Grahamstown phenomenon.

For those who simply cannot do without their dose of exercise, why not take up the challenge of the Grahamstown Golf Course’s Standard Bank Festival Golf Competition. If you’re more of an armchair athlete, give Australia vs. South Africa a try! This comedy drama featuring Bheki Mkhwane and Ellis Pearson (SA) and Tom Lycos and Stefo Nantsou (Aus) will strike a familiar chord with any Bok (or Wallaby) supporter.

Why not take a walk on the wild side and book a game viewing tour with Pumba Private Game Reserve, home to the big five, as well as white lion, cheetah and wild dogs. For the mature palate, whisky tasting is another option – Lets Talk Whisky offers an entertaining (and educational) tour of the whisky-making regions of the world. If cerebral exercise is what you’re after, look no further than the fascinating Winter School programme. Topics range from education to politics, ancestors, art, crime and conversation; speakers include Clem Sunter, Andrew Feinstein, Riaan Manser (who circumnavigated Africa on a bicycle), Bridget Hilton-Barber, Brent Meersman, Dennis Davis, and many more.

Take a stroll around the multitude of visual art exhibitions where more than 50 artists will be exhibiting using an incredible diversity of media. Multimedia installations, graphic design, textile art, ceramics, sculpture, photography, oils, watercolours, charcoal, glass work, beads, carvings, you name it – whatever medium you prefer, you’re bound to find it at the Fest. When in Grahamstown, pick up an Art Meander Map to navigate your way around.

The Fringe contemporary music programme will appeal to students, older teenagers, and those who have yet to adjust to the generational divide! Bands of the calibre of Bed on Bricks, Flat Stanley, The Dirty Skirts, Stealing Love Jones, and Howard Roark headline at the Cuervo Music Room, and, at the Taphuis, Old Mutual present Max Normal.TV; Syd Kitchen, Ntsiki Mazwai, Klets Klawers, and others. The UK’s Evan Dando (of the Lemonheads) will be appearing live and in person at both venues; and there’s a heap of new emerging South African bands who’ll be hitting the headlines post Festival 2008.

Connecting with the younger set is the Children’s Arts Festival. This fully supervised edutainment programme offers both a boarding and a day programme for children aged 4 to 13. Hosted in the safe environs of the St Andrew’s Preparatory school, children experience Festival productions and engage in handcraft or arts related workshops. While mom and dad relax let the kids unwind, make new friends, and experience something completely different!

Alternatively, take the youngsters to the theatre yourself and relive those glorious belly laughs of your childhood. Betty & the Yeti (from Ubom! Eastern Cape Drama Company), The Magic Paintbrus h (from Inside&Out Theatre), and The Adventures of Jabulani Jo by Fett Diva Productions, all promise real family entertainment; and regular Festinos will be delighted to learn that the 17th in Theatre for Africa’s Raiders series – The Daily Lama – will be on the breakfast menu at 10h00 sharp every day!

Street Theatre boasts some exciting family fare – and it’s free for all! Ellis Pearson and Sdumo Mtshali in Impisi, the unlikely tale of a friendship between a hyena, a lion, and a rhino; Inside&Out Theatre’s Ariadne’s Labyrinth, an innovatively physical work following a girl’s journey through life and the animals she meets on the way; and The Flight of the Lightning Bird - Impundulu, a spectacle of dance, fire and water celebrating Africa’s sky and water spirits. And, while you’re out and about, why not treat the children to a uniquely Grahamstown ride – on a donkey cart of course!

For those wanting to take a peek at yesteryear or a stroll down nostalgia lane, there are some fascinating tours – skeletons and ghosts, architecture, tragedies, and some of the Eastern Cape’s most colourful characters are at the forefront of these tales of the past. Walking Tours include Saints, Sinners & Students, Stately Homes and Old School Ties, and Settler Skeletons (all presented by tour guides from the Albany Museum); Spirits of the Past (guided by renowned Lower Albany raconteur, Alan Weyer) and the Blaauwkrantz Bridge and Blaauwkrantz Pool tours (with local flavour from Ben Bezuidenhout) are both bus tours; and Keiskamma Art is a self-drive tour that includes a traditional Xhosa meal in the beautiful village of Hamburg plus tours of the village and art studio – home of the famous Keiskamma artworks displayed at recent National Arts Festivals.

So who have we forgotten? Ah yes, those shopholics amongst us! The Village Green Craft Market will take good care of you! Spilling out into the Church Square, the Village Green Fair is an integral part of any Festival experience. Traditional craft, funky jewellery, hammocks, puppets, gloriously colourful gizmos and beautiful baubles … it’s all there just waiting for you – bargaining is not optional!

The 34th anniversary of the National Arts Festival Grahamstown takes place from June 26 to July 5. Pick up the Booking Kits for full details – both Fringe and Main kits are available at selected Standard Bank branches or Computicket outlets – and book your holiday of a lifetime. Bring the whole family – there’s something for everyone at the National Arts Festival Grahamstown! Visit www.nationalartsfestival.co.za or phone 046 603 1103 for more info. Book at Computicket – we’ll see you there!




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart