The seats were full of expectant festival-goers, but the stage remained empty.
Two Fringe shows, Firestorm and 48, failed to materialise on Thursday 4 July, leaving audiences bemused and disgruntled.
Festival Fringe manager, Zikhona Nwebahe, said dance production Firestorm had filed a notification of its cancellation on the day of its first scheduled performance. The notification was too late to deter audiences.
Nwebahe said she had not known about 48’s withdrawal until venue technicians pointed out that they had not turned up.
48 director, Michael von Bardeleben, said he was unaware the Festival office had not received notification of his show’s cancellation. He would like to issue a public apology for the breakdown in communication and subsequent non-performance. The cancellation was the result of a last-minute cancellation by a cast member, he said.
Firestorm director, Gladstone Kwakume, said the play was cancelled because visas had not been issued to the performers, who were to travel to Festival from Ghana, in time. “The audiences were disappointed, and so were the child performers in the production,” Kwakume said.
Firestorm was going to be the first Ghanaian production in Festival history, he said.
Box Office manager Dion van Niekerk said notifications about cancelled shows are aired on the National Arts Festival website, as well as on notice boards and through Cue.
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