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NAF FRINGE (article first published : 2005-06-17)

The National Arts Festival Fringe programme is a multi-layered cocktail of delight - and what's more - there are some healthy discounts on offer for the first time ever! Early birds really will catch the worm - tickets to most Fringe shows on the first day of Festival (June 30) are being sold at half price! And, the cherry on top of this heady mix is that fringe artists are also now offering students and Friends of the Festival discounted tickets.

Some of this years' highlights include Zimbabwe's Dudu Manhenga and the Color Blu band who are ready to take off on a high-performance, crossbreed musical cruise that will appeal across the age divide; and local company, the Ancient Monarchy Music Project, who are gung-ho to present a live music 'Rootical Session' of the freshest Afro-Indigenous harmonies and reggae.

Last year's comedy hit, Matthew Ribnick (The Chilli Boy) has a brand new gem up his sleeve with Hoot. Mark Sampson, Cokey Falkow and David Newton are ready to slog it out on the stand-up stages; and Shirley Kirchmann has some solid-gold advice in her Barbara Woodhouse-inspired Train your Man.

Megan Bridge jets in from the USA to present her multi-media award-winning dance piece The Fold, and the youthful, fresh exuberance of Cape Town's Afrika Ablaze Dance Company will present A Standing Ovation. The Soweto Dance Project is Flying High in a presentation of three new works from South African choreographers, Nelisiwe Xaba, Disemelo Khasa and Pule Molebatsi; while Zoey Lapinsky's quirky physical theatre piece explores the highs, lows and insecurities of a not quite 5-foot dancer trying to capture A Side Portion of the Limelight.

Andrew Buckland, Bheki Mkwane, Nicholas Ellenbogen, Jullian Mokoto, Greig Coetzee, Helena Hettema, Sylvaine Strike, Martin Kobokae, Vincent Nkosi, Ian von Memerty, Adi Paxton. The 2005 Fringe programme reads like a who's who of the entertainment world. With over 230 productions and 32 visual art exhibitions, no interested theatre lover can afford not to be in Grahamstown between June 30 and July 9!

Booking Kits at selected Standard Bank branches or Computicket outlets or order a copy from the Festival Office (phone 046 603 1103/1164 or fax 046 622 3082).

For information on accommodation and transport as well as full details on both the Main and Fringe programmes visit the Festival website www.nafest.co.za

Now in its 31st- year, the Festival began in 1974 and has since grown to be one of the leading arts festivals in southern Africa. The Eastern Cape Government, Standard Bank, the SABC, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and the National Arts Council proudly sponsor the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.




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