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HILTON BREAKS RECORDS (article first published : 1999-09-21)

The Natal Witness Hilton Arts festival - held last weekend - was a bumper success that exceeded all expectations. It is estimated that there were approximately 20 000 visitors to the Hilton Festival in total. A record 89% attendance was recorded for the Main festival, with an overall attendance of 82% throughout - a significant increase on last year. Most of the shows were virtually sold out and favourites included the flagship production, the Take Away Shakespeare Theatre's version of Antony & Cleopatra and the irrepressible Rory Rootenberg with his delicious Cadenza X-Trav as well as Li Newton and Andrew Buckland’s imaginative The Well Being and the insightful and funny As the Koekie Crumbles.

KZN-based performers all enjoyed enthusiastic audiences. Playing to full houses were Susan Monteregge's Intercourses; Greg King's Sound of Muesli (despite being a late entry when it replaced a cancelled show); Greg Coetzee's long running White Men with Weapons, Garth Anderson's Naughty Noel and Rajesh Gopie's Out of Bounds.

" We are hugely delighted with the wonderful response this year,” said Sue Clarence, one of the festival organisers. “It is so exciting to be part of a project that works really well for all concerned. We are continually striving to improve, and to this end we are already planning next year's festival to insure the infrastructure, facilities and line-up is even more comprehensive than this year. We would like to thank our valuable sponsors without whom the festival would not be possible, and the technical team who rose to the challenge and did a great job. Most importantly, we thank all the supportive visitors to the festival which made the whole project worthwhile."


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