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UPBEAT (article first published : 2005-05-15)

Follow the beat of a cow-hide drum to Kearsney College at the top of Botha's Hill and enjoy UpBeat - an autumn festive feast of eclectic music, fabulous food and creative arts and crafts - to be held in the grounds of the picturesque college from May 27 to 29.

Festival director Sue Clarence and Kearsney's Adam Rogers have put together an impressive line up of weekend events - from works of art and craft of well-known local artists and potters such as Martin Wenkidu and Andrew Walford to a cosy festival tent for lots of "warm" music, red wine, open braziers, butternut soup, hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Embrace the crisp early days of winter and soak up the gentle rays of the sun as you take in the flavours of hot autumn cuisine from the food outlets nearby. For children - there is a jumping castle and children's area providing ample activities.

The music programme caters for all tastes and interests. There is an extensive programme for the more classically-inclined: Christopher Duigan's renowned Music Revival selection, the Wouter String Quartet performing Italian Strings (May 27 at 18h00); the Opera School and Choral Academy performing Festival Classics (May 28 at 16h00); the Kerimov Trio's Gypsy Violin (May 28 at 18h00) and a saxophone and organ recital (May 29 at 10h00).

For lovers of musical theatre there is the sublime A Handful of Keys (May 27 at 20h00); the national premiere of All Shook Up (May 28 at 20h00) featuring Evan Roberts and Shelly McLean in a roller-coaster ride of Rock n Roll n Pop; Karen Van Pletsen and friends in a Twist of Broadway (May 28 at 14h30); Wallace Nock's tribute to Neil Diamond (May 28 at 20h00); Aaron McIlroy's musical mayhem in The Loser (May 29 at 11h00) and the laid-back beat of Lounge Act.

Special mention should be made of a free concert by Melanie Lowe (May 28 at 17h00); Deluxe (May 28 at 18h00); and an outdoor Proms Rock Concert with the Durban City Orchestra, the Kearsney College Choir and DriverLane (May 29 at 15h00).

Tickets from Computicket or 011 340 8000 or 083 915 8000. More information on 082 882 9869. A full programme is obtainable from Computicket outlets or visit www.kearsney.com or www.computicket.com




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