Posts Tagged ‘review’

Ashley Searle and Nadine Theron in Bon Soir at the 2015 Natioal Arts Festival in Grahamstoen. A montage of brand new FollowSpot entertainment including all things dance, singing and booty shaking to wow the crowd.
(Photo: CuePix/sithasolwazi Kentane)

Bon Soir is a combination of dance, comedy, acting, singing and acrobatics. Think Moulin Rouge meets Madame Zingara. It is quality entertainment that has been put on by the famous Follow Spot Productions, with director Vanessa Harris.

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Borderline, directed by Vanessa Harris and Ash Searle, at the 2015 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The one man show, starring Pierre Van Heerden, took the audience through the highs, lows, horror and humour of being a South African army conscript in the seventies. 
(Photo: CuePix/Sithasolwazi Kentane)

It might seem a little strange; a musical about serving in the old South African army set to Beatles music. But the combination works, mainly because of the goofy charm and spectacular singing voice of Pierre van Heerden. He can swing from singing a ballad to belting out a rock ‘n roll number that gets the audience on their feet, all the while dressed in “troopie” browns and army boots.

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Sandi Dlangalala, Lea Vivier
and Rita Hlaluka perform
in Hanamichi. The Japanese
influenced physical theatre retells
Ted Hughes’ The Thought Fox.
Photo: CuePix/Niamh Walsh-Vorster

The PJ’s stage is mostly bare.  Japanese manga art hangs in  one corner between two concealed  artworks. Sounds of a djembe drum  and flute usher the audience in,  soothing them into silence.  Hanamichi, directed by Tristan  Jacobs, is based on The Thought Fox,  a poem by Ted Hughes.

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Masixole Heshu performs in Waltz at the National Arts Festival, in Grahamstown, 07 July 2015. Waltz seeks to excavate and uncover the existence of South Africans in reclaiming their space. (Photo: CuePix/Tamani Chithambo)

The Gatherings, also known as Intlangano, are Grahamstown-based theatre makers. The six men and their choreographer, Nomcebisi Moyikwa, investigate issues of masculinity and identity through the medium of physical theatre.

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Henk Opperman performs in Bok in Grahamstown on 9 July 2015, at the National Arts Festival.  Underground Dance Theatre, in association with the Waterfront Theatre Company, presents an interpretation of Njinsky’s The Afternoon of a Faun.  (Photo: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe).

I have been itching to see Bok since last year. My old roommate, a Rhodes drama alumnus, ignited my excitement after raving about it. But although the pros of Bok outweigh its cons, not all my expectations of the production were met.

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Return of the Ancestors, performed at the 2015 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The show, featuring Mandisi Sindo and Siya Sikawuthi, brought political struggle ancestors Steve Biko and Neil Aggett back tot eh future to see if their efforts were all worth it in the end.
(Photo: CuePix/ sithasolwazi Kentane)

Return of the Ancestors is not what you expect it to be. The way the show is billed in the programme – as the journey of Steve Biko and Neil Aggett, who have been sent to return to South Africa to decide if their sacrifice was worth it – conjures up images of a play that is essentially a conversation between the two men as they look upon the lay of the land, with a kind judgment that is only possible with the benefit of hindsight. I suspect that this is what has turned other people off from seeing it and why the theatre was half-empty when I arrived for a viewing.

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Eusebe Jaojoby performs in Jaojoby – King of Salegy on 7 July 2015 at the National Arts Festival.  Critics have credited Jaojoby with popularizing the salegy genre both within Madagascar and on the international music scene.  (Photo: CuePix/ Amanda Horsfied)

This music is for dancing,” says Eusébe Jaojoby, “so come join us on the stage.” After starting slowly, with a few sound system hiccups and a cool jazzy piece, Eusébe Jaojoby and his family band burst into a colourful, high energy set that you just have to jive to.

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Matthew Field, guitarist with pop band Beatenberg,  performs in a concert in the Guy Butler Theatre at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, 08 July 2015. (Photo: CuePix/Harold Gess)

“They said it was sold out, but I didn’t really imagine it. So, I’m dealing with it now.” Matthew Field, the singer and guitarist of Beatenberg, looks a little bewildered, the lights in his eyes, his face locked in that slight frown he always makes when he sings.

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Irene stephanou performs in her show, 'Searching for Somebody' in Grahamstown on  3 July 2015 at the 2015 national Arts Festival. The Show is centred around a manageress of a dry cleaners suffering from multiple sclerosi. (Photo: CuePix / Jeff stretton-Bell)

There are so many reasons I want to love Irene Stephanou’s solo show, Searching for Somebody.

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Dikelo Mamiale in Six Inches in Grahamstown on 3 July 2015 at the 2015 National Arts Festival. The show revolves around the fears, fetishes and fantasies of three friends.

Is your cup overflowing with Kafka? Are you choking on too much Chekhov? Then boy do I have just the antidote for you. Six Inches gambols gloriously through the sex lives of three very different women.

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