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The Cue website has moved to cuemedia.co.za. Please visit the new website for more National Arts Festival coverage.

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The Cue website has moved to cuemedia.co.za. Please visit the new website for more National Arts Festival coverage.

Read more ...

cue_logo

The Cue website has moved to cuemedia.co.za. Please visit the new website for more National Arts Festival coverage.

Read more ...

The 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre, Christiaan Olwagen, presents A Doll’s House in Grahamstown on 11 July 2015, at the National Arts Festival.  (Photo: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe)

I n between showings of his fast selling out adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, Cue managed to grab director and 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre Christiaan Olwagen for a quick chat and a photoshoot. Olwagen made his name at Festival directing the self-described appropriation Woza Andries? in 2010.

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Ray Phiri performs at the Guy Butler Theatre in Grahamstown on 10 June 2015 at the 2015 National Arts Festival.  Phiri has received many awards
in recognition for his contribution in the music industry, including, in 2011, the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver, South
Africa’s highest civilian honour for excellence and contribution to the arts, and, in 2012, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the South African Music Awards (SAMA). (Photo: CUEPIX/Kate Janse van Rensburg)

Three days ago, while reaching for a suitcase to pack for his Grahamstown trip, Ray Phiri, the grand old man of mbaqanga music, falls off a chair and breaks three ribs.

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Multi-award winning South African musician, Thandiswa Mazwai, performs in a concert in the Guy Butler Theatre in Grahamstown on 11 July 2015, at the 2015 National Arts Festival. (Photo: CuePix/Hlumela Mkabile)

Kimon de Greef Cue specialist writer took over the Monument on Saturday night and knocked this festival’s lights out. What a show! From before she walked on (fifteen minutes late, but quite honestly who cares) people were on their feet. Many remained that way for the entire performance. Afterwards she emerged from the wings. Fans mobbed her for hugs and photographs. She was weeping; they were weeping. And then, just moments later, she was gone.

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Zimbabwean music legend Oliver Mtukudzi performs at DSG Hall venue in Grahamstown on 10 July 2015; at the 2015 National Arts Festival. The singer/guitarist performed to a fully booked venue.  Mtukudzi is joined on stage by Alice Muringayi on vocals, Enock Piriro on bass guitar and Tendai Samson Mataure on drums. (Photo: CUEPIX/Niamh Walsh-Vorster)

It took seven minutes for Oliver Mtukudzi and his band to get on stage. It took less than three for him to have me in tears. The Zimbabwean-born musician is an emcee, adjudicating the dance electric – and last night, in front of a packed crowd at DSG Hall, he gave the performance of a lifetime.

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Christian Olwagen’s production of Ibsen’s enduring drama, A Doll’s House, is driven by a clear directorial vision and performed by a powerful cast.

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Fiona Ramsay performs in The Imagined Land at Vicky’s, Grahamstown, 10 July 2015, at the 2015 National Arts Festival. The Imagined Land is a new play by acclaimed writer Craig Higginson in which a Zimbabwean novelist, modelled on Nadine Gordimer and Doris Lessing, is confronted by her biographer with difficult memories from her past. Photo: CuePix / Jane Berg.

“All criticism is a form of autobiography,” said Oscar Wilde, according to the programme note. Gulp! Playwright and novelist Craig Higginson at his best is a beautiful writer, and he’s at his best in The Imagined Land, promoted as “a new state of the nation play”.

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Artist Francois Knoetze presents a cell phone suit and one of the six Mongo characters in his public art exhibition, Cape Mongo, in Grahamstown on 6 July 2015, at the National Arts Festival. Cape Mongo looks at the stories of these characters, each made from the city’s discarded waste, as they journey through Cape Town. (Photo: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe)

However you look at it, 2015 has been a curious year so far. Not long after the Red Berets staged their version of Karate Kid in Parliament, an understudy to political activist Andile Lili splashed poo on a triumphalist bronze metaphor that, up until recently, lazed on a plinth at an eminent university.

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