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MIKE VAN GRAAN WINS WRITING AWARD (article first published : 2007-10-11)

Multi-award-winning playwright Mike van Graan – whose Bafana Republic is currently being staged at the Catalina Theatre in Durban – has won Best New Script in Afrikaans at the Aardklop festival in Potchefstroom for his new production, Die Generaal.

The third largest festival in the country after the ABSA KKNK in Oudtshoorn and the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, the Aardklop Arts Festival in Potchefstroom celebrated its tenth anniversary this year. To mark this event, ABSA sponsored four productions by writers commissioned by Aardklop to produce four new theatre works. These writers were Saartjie Botha, PG du Plessis, Lara Foot Newton and Mike van Graan.

His first play to be performed substantially in Afrikaans, Mike van Graan’s Die Generaal was awarded the Smeltkroes Prize (sponsored by Anglogold Ashanti) for the Best New Script in Afrikaans.

This award comes hot on the heels of receiving accolades at the inaugural South African Comedy Awards. On September 17, Mike van Graan’s satire Bafana Republic, inspired by the 2010 World Cup, was named as the “Best One-Person Show” at the 2007 South African Comedy Awards. Actress Lindiwe Matshikiza was also nominated for Best Breakthrough Artist.

Directed by Durban-born Lara Bye Bafana Republic, is currently at the Catalina Theatre in Wilson’s Wharf in Durban until October 28 featuring the multi-talented Lindiwe Matshikiza (see separate review).

Bafana Republic is generously sponsored by Die Burger Suidoosterfees, which is fast developing its brand as a leading arts festival in Cape Town; Spier with its long reputation for support for the arts, and the Netherlands-based Prince Claus Fund.

Tickets R65 (R35 pensioners and students) available online at www.strictlytickets.com or at the theatre 031 305 6889. For more information about the play see www.mikevangraan.co.za




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