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FAMILY AFFAIR ON NAF FRINGE (article first published : 2005-06-12)

Families are well catered for at the 2005 National Arts Festival Fringe running from June 30 to July 9 in Grahamstown. From magicians to puppeteers, clowns, fairies and jugglers, to dancers, singers and mime artists – there’s no time to snooze this year!

Adi Paxton (aka Cherry the Clown) vows to entice anyone from the age of four to 400 into her gentle web of magical fun – Cherry’s Magic Fun Too! A Festival veteran, Adi and her new puppet friend Andi will beguile the young at heart with juggling, balloon-sculpting, puppetry and “delightfully ditsy” fun.

Scholars from Sandton’s Crawford School return to Grahamstown with another sing-a-long re-enactment of stories of olde. Under the guidance of actor/director Marcelle Pincus, these fresh, young minds add energy, enthusiasm, colour and vitality to age-old favourites.

Sogo Theatre presents The Little Giant – a story about the power of peace and courage in the kindness of a child and the magic touch of a baby giant from outer space. Guaranteed to capture minds and imagination, this gently humorous marionette show features Janni Younge and Gabriella Riviera.

African animal fables are brought to life through puppetry, storytelling, song and dance in Why Z, directed by Jean van Elden and starring Janna Ramos-Violante and Shelby Strange. No strangers to children’s theatre and with a myriad of animal antics up their sleeves, this duo will have the whole family enthralled!

Aldo Brincat’s Moron Than Off returns to the Fringe after a six-year break – a feast of clowning that will appeal across the board, characters veer from Chaplin to Fester Adams and back again in an off-the-top portrayal by this master of physical theatre.

Lawyer Keletso Pekile (Bingo) teams up with magician Adi Paxton and musician Samuel Xaba to present Kazam, an intrepid adventure into a magical entertainment world that will appeal to all ages. The power of the mind, illusion, plenty of fun and some daredevil feats await you in this Festival premičre.

SKF Productions’ Shosholoza Afrika wowed audiences at Fest 2004 with electrifying gumboot routines and pulsating Afro-indigenous percussion music. They’re back in 2005 with an equally exhilarating and energetic dance spectacle brimming with creative enthusiasm and joy. Injabulo “The Happiness” is a must-see celebration of culture, youthful inspiration and pure, unequivocal love of the performing arts.

Fairies abound in the contemporary re-telling of the bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented in the Botanical Gardens by the Port Elizabeth Shakespeare Festival (PESF). This is an suitable occasion for a glass of Gluhwein (hot chocolate for youngsters) on a picnic blanket while the fairies play good and evil and love is all around. Bring blankets and cushions for a family outing under the stars in one of South Africa’s oldest botanical gardens.

There’s a host of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy at Festival 2005 – street theatre, music, comedy, dance, opera, and theatre – collect the main and fringe booking kits at Standard Bank branches and Computicket outlets. Book at Computicket nationwide and further information on the website www.nafest.co.za or phone the office on 046 603 1103.




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