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GRAHAMSTOWN, JULY 5 (article first published : 2001-07-5)

Today’s my last full day in Grahamstown before I head home tomorrow, flying around midday so I won’t have time to see anything else before I drive to Port Elizabeth.

It’s a cold and windy Grahamstown today, only warmed by the winter sun and Festival fever!

Last night I saw Savage from the Colonies which is a Pietermaritzburg work featuring Vera Clare, Justin Southey and Stacey Taylor. Stacey informed me that she is to start rehearsing next week for Piaf, Pieter Scholtz’s new production to run at Kwasuka Theatre from the end of the month.

This year on the festival there’s a show called White Men with Buckets - I haven’t been to see it but the inspiration for the title must surely have come from Greig Coetzee’s White Men with Weapons!

Wandered round the Village Green yesterday and there are some good stalls with three interesting me sufficiently to stop and chat for a while. One is a stall selling quilt work – first time on the festival for them – and apart from large fairly expensive quilted items, there are small knick-knacks one can taken home as gifts. One of the stallholders also makes teddy bears.

Another was Pod People which offered skillfully adapted palm sheaths mounted vertically and ending with a small ceramic female head – like an elegant woman clad in a designer dark brown ball gown. The last one to catch my eye was the Eshowe Ceramic Studio which had a good selection of well-priced pottery pieces.

Durban sculptor Hannah Lurie has created a bust of Douglas Livingstone which she has donated to the National Literary Museum. This organisation, the guardian of all South African literature, is based in Grahamstown. The bust is on view at the Museum’s current exhibition which focuses on the work and life of the late poet .

Considering the dance productions I’ve seen over the festival period, I’ll put my head on a block and say that we’re doing pretty good in Durban in terms of producing challenging contemporary dance pieces. The work from Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company, Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre and the University’s Barefoot Dance Company seems way ahead.

My last show tonight is the National Theatre (UK) production Further than the Furthest Thing.

(All reviews to be posted shortly)




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