Uncategorized Theatre for all shapes and sizes

Theatre for all shapes and sizes

Theatrically inclined festival goers have a good reason to be grateful that this year’s event runs concurrently with the Fifa World Cup: intriguing international productions that deal with football in one way or another and promise to be high intensity, action packed and well worth looking out for.

Haris Pasovic’s Football Football is the first to open, with a cast from Italy, Bosnia, Singapore and Slovenia and the promise of a surprise guest on stage. Towards the end of the Festival, Ahilan Ratnamohan, an Australian/Sri Lankan, performs his own script The Football Diaries – described as a “meditation on art and sport” comprising solo performance, sound and video.

As far as the rest of the Main programme is concerned, there promises to be a fascinating range of productions that explore dimensions of identity, relationships and connectedness. Look out for 2010 Standard Bank Young Artist Winner Janni Younge’s multi-media and multi-plot production Ouroboros.

There are several uniquely South African productions, including Inxeba Lomphilisi, a story set on the physical thread of the national road between Cape Town and Grahamstown, and Songs of Migration, which pays homage to African migrants, their music and dance.

For those with an inclination towards straight theatre, there is no shortage of options to choose from. Athol Fugard’s superb Hello and Goodbye, starring Dorothy Ann Gould and Michael Maxwell, cannot but be a moving and truly satisfying theatrical experience.

Also, look out for The Timekeepers, an Israeli production set during the time of the Holocaust. Savouring the array of other options begins to feel like thespian gluttony, and a preview of this nature cannot do justice to them all. If time allows, do try and see as many of The Beckett Trilogy, The Tragedy of Richard III, Man to Man and The Girl in the Yellow Dress as you can.

Of course, don’t forget the street theatre when planning your itinerary. Ellis Pearson’s performances are always mandatory, with the programme also offering the contrasting scale and spectacle of Amathole and Angeli e Demoni.

The Arena is an interesting and commendable addition to the programme by the Festival management, providing a platform for exciting, innovative and usually new talent and material. These are productions that sit somewhere between the Fringe and the Main and would be well worth a visit.

No Festival experience is complete without at least a few viewings of Fringe productions. Many vintage performers and companies will brave Festival audiences once again – not least names such as Rob van Vuuren, Andrew Buckland, Mark Sampson and Stuart Taylor.

While it is easy to go for the big names, there are often wonderful productions on the Fringe that don’t get the audiences they deserve. It’s worth any festivalgoers while to risk trying a Fringe show that they have heard about or that just looks interesting for whatever reason – you never know what delights you might just encounter.

An overview of this year’s theatrical offerings would not be complete without paying homage to the longevity and irrepressibility of The Raiders, celebrating their 21st year at the Festival. Congratulations to the Ellenbogens.

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