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David Mann: The Rhodes Drama Department’s annual Theatre In Motion  event was cancelled tonight due to heavy rains flooding the main theatre and damaging electrical equipment.

According to Theatre Administrator Robert Haxton, the consistent heavy rains throughout the afternoon and early evening caused water to enter the main theatre.

Monday, 19 August 2013 10:15

Broadway musical comes to local audiences

ERENE OBERHOLZER: The University of Pretoria’s drama department is bringing the worldwide cult musical Bat Boy: The Musical to local audiences this week.

Based on the book by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming, Bat Boy tells the story of Edgar, a half-boy half-bat who finds himself amongst people for the first time after being rescued from the dark, lonely cave he has been living in his whole life.

Director Anitra Davel transformed the original American rock musical into a South African context to bring it closer to home.

Published in Perdeby Entertainment

Chelsea HaithNational Arts Festival attendance numbers were down in 2013 but NAF CEO Tony Lankester  is unconcerned. The results, announced in a press release on 11 July, are less than the record-high of approximately 260 000 attendees in 2012 but are nevertheless “reassuring and sustainable”, according to Lankester.

The number of attendees for 2013 was 211 701, only 7 000 people less than in 2012. 2012’s numbers reached a record high, with 20 percent growth in audiences since 2009. This is a “healthy trajectory … for the economics of the arts” said Lankester.

Thursday, 11 July 2013 10:21

NAF Day 10 & 11: Wrapping up the Festival

Chelsea Haith: Fireworks, a parade and half-price tickets saw the 39th National Arts Festival wrap-up a successful run on 6 and 7 July.

Highlights of the Festival were Karen Zoid and Dan Patlansky in Concert on 5 July, the ballet Hansel and Gretel by the Johannesburg Youth Ballet , The Amsterdam Ensemble’s performance of Mahler’s 4th  symphony with Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award Winner, soprano Runette Botha, the late night Jazz and Blues Café at the Lowlander and Mary Sibande’s exhibition The Purple Shall Govern.

Saturday, 06 July 2013 10:29

A little rain never hurt any Fest

Chelsea Haith: Every year the National Arts Festival features as one of its main events hurricane force winds and rain that lashes you from the side. The Festival and Grahamstown are known for the rainy weather that had held off thus far in winter but which has now hit with a vengeance.

Festival-goers were not brought down by the rain and wind on 5 July. The Village Green tents filled with the shoppers who ordinarily wander the Great Field as the afternoon drew towards dark. The streets were filled with the same crowds, people moving between venues at a leisurely pace, seeming to enjoy the drizzle and camaraderie.

With the final weekend of the National Arts Festival ahead, the conversations have shifted from, “What will you be seeing?” to “What have you seen?” and “Did you enjoy fest?”

Saturday, 06 July 2013 06:14

[Review] Amen

Rhea MacDonald: Tuesday, 2 July, marked the final performance of ORBIT FET College’s multilingual drama, Amen.

As the lights went down and the audience calmed to silence, the piercing sound of a dozen screams ignited the air of Grahamstown’s City Hall last night, a sign of horrors to come.

Friday, 05 July 2013 11:56

[Review] BOO!

David Mann: A show that’s funny, scary and for the whole family too. BOO! is taking place at The Highlander this National Arts Festival to take you on a 45-minute ride into the depths of the Underworld.

The well-attended show seemed to draw an audience that was comprised of six year olds to 60 year olds, all of whom seemed to enjoy the spooky, but entertaining tale.

Thursday, 04 July 2013 11:24

[Review] Anne Frank, as never seen before

Rhea MacDonald: With widespread readership of her personal diary – The Diary of a Young Girl, and theatre and film productions around the world representing her struggle, Anne Frank’s story is known by many.

The Voice of Anne Frank, a production by Czech Republic’s Spitfire Theatre Company, overshot all expectations one could have had at its South African première this morning.

The production did more than simply retell the story – evoking tangible emotions of what it must have felt like to be in the shoes of a young Jewish girl forced into hiding during World War II.

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