Posts Tagged ‘NAF 2015’

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Jannes Erasmus has a disconcertingly piercing stare and unusually blue eyes. The fact that he is shirtless is also somewhat distracting.

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fashion

The National Arts Festival provides the opportunity for festivalgoers to cover themselves from head to toe in colourful, outrageous outfits. This wacky Wednesday, Amanda Murimba and Kate Maclean set out to find the most eccentric headgear at the Village Green – from beanies to helmets, to umbrellas.

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Tony Miyambo performing in The Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri at the Hangar in Grahamstown on 7 July 2015, at the 2015 National Festival. The Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri is a Wits Theatre Production directed by Gerard Bester (Photo: CuePix/Hlumela Mkabile)

William Harding is all over this Festival but not really out front. As a writer, he not only scripted the hugely successful Tobacco, and the Harmful Effects Thereof, but is also listed as the dramaturg for Tony Miyambo’s beautiful solo theatre piece, The Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri, created by Miyambo and his director, Gerard Bester.

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croc E moses performs in Common Suspense at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, 04 July 2015. The show integrates performance poetry, melodic singing, and rhythm driven guitar. (Photo: CuePix/Tamani Chithambo)

Croc E Moses is as unique as his name. After moving from arctic regions in  Canada to Swaziland in his teens, he got his nickname for always wearing a hat in  boarding school that made him look like Crocodile Dundee.

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Abbas Ma-azu, a Ghanian trader specialising in handbags.
Photo: Sihle Nthembu

The corner of High Street and Somerset is a melting pot of African tongues. Here, under the shadow of the Drostdy Arch, lies an informal arts and craft market that stretches from Albany Natural Sciences Museum to the Rhodes Art School Gallery. This is a place where Kiswahili mingles with Shona, and isiXhosa dances with Akan.

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The Freedom of Expression in Broad Strokes exhibit showcases the winners of the international cartoon competition by displaying the artworks on a series of free-standing pillars. The thematically arranged exhibition was assembled by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom. It celebrates cartoonists who have wielded their pens as weapons against censorship, oppression and controversy over the last 15 years.

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Andrew Laubscher and Sive Gubangxa in After Dark in the Groot Marico at the Glennie Hall venue in Grahamstown on 3 July 2015; at the 2015 National Arts Festival. The physical theatre adapts stories from South African author Herman Charles Bosman. A comedic aspect is added to the stories of the famous tales. (Photo: CUEPIX/Niamh Walsh-Vorster)

The seductive works of Herman Charles Bosman have provided rich material for theatre-makers. From Patrick Mynhardt and Percy Sieff’s Oom Schalk Lourens shows (their cudgels now taken up here at the Festival by David Muller) to Stephen Gray’s and Nicky Rebello’s dramatisations, to the radical physical theatre take on the Bosman stories by Tara Notcutt and her team. Mafeking Road was simply brilliant theatre, and a tough act to follow. In truth, while it has some delightful moments, After Dark in the Groot Marico doesn’t quite match up.

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William Harding appears in Travels Around My Room.
Photo: CuePix /Jeff Stretton-Bell

Blaise Pascal first uttered the oft-repeated line, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”. Centuries later, the Beatles put a Taoist spin on it by telling us to “arrive without travelling”. The idea is animated in Sylvaine Strike’s Travels Around My Room, a one-man play in which said man undertakes a 42-day journey around his room.

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Rebecca Stroebel and Hayley Green perform in Jilted, by the Cape Academy of Performing Arts, in Grahamstown on 5 July 2015, at the National Arts Festival. With diverse dance styles, drama and song, the production looks at the definition of the title Jilted.  (Photo: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe)

As the audience enters Centenary Hall, a spotlight is trained on a standing figure wrapped in white tulle at centre stage. The house lights dim, music builds, and the figure unwraps himself. As he emerges, the tulle is laid out behind him: a makeshift altar. The stage is set for Jilted. The multidisciplinary production is one of this year’s presentations from the Cape Academy of Performing Arts. By using the premise of being left at the altar, Jilted depicts the joys, fears, and difficulties that accompany the complexity of love and commitment.

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We’ve all seen magic tricks performed with rope, sponge balls, and cards. Clowns at children’s parties usually use these tools, but it seems that Mawonga Gayiya, also known as Wonga Magic, knows something that they don’t. Gayiya manages to combine magic and stand-up comedy, making Astonish one for both children and adults. “If you don’t find me funny, hopefully you’ll at least enjoy the magic,” he jokes at the beginning of the show.

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