South Africa National Arts Festival

(redirected from Grahamstown Festival)

South Africa National Arts Festival (Grahamstown Festival)

Late June through early July
Grahamstown, South Africa, is the site for what is purportedly the world's largest arts festival after Britain's Edinburgh Arts Festival. Since the inaugural festival in 1974, this small city in the Eastern Cape has increasingly drawn more people for the 11-day National Arts Festival (also known as the Grahamstown Festival ), and has expanded its number of shows from 60 to more than 500. Organized by the Grahamstown Foundation, the festival takes both South African and international entrants.
The festival program manages an even balance of sophisticated and popular entertainment. Performances cross the spectrum from opera, cabaret, and jazz to stand-up comedy and folk music. The Fringe Festival, which in some years has featured up to 200 performances, attracts fans of more unconventional art.
The festival's largest theater venue is the 1820 Settlers National Monument. Smaller productions, which include those on the festival's fringe program, take place in any of the town's available public halls or large rooms.
Grahamstown has also gained a reputation for the enormous street market that materializes during the festival and bolsters the region's economy. Traders come from all over the Eastern Cape and set up stands in public parks and market squares to sell homemade and manufactured products.
CONTACTS:
National Arts Festival
P.O. Box 304
Grahamstown 6140 South Africa
www.nafest.co.za
References in periodicals archive ?
1) This notion of complicity is echoed in responses to Brett Bailey's Blood Diamonds/Terminal produced for the 2009 Grahamstown Festival, in which Grahamstown and its people, present and past, are depicted in three sets of images which Bailey claims 'speak for themselves.
For the purposes of this discussion I will focus on some of the works performed during the 2009 Grahamstown Festival to illustrate how the different theatre modalities co-exist and indirectly speak to one another.
The works from the 2009 Grahamstown Festival that can be read in terms of Thick theatre include Jay Pather's Bodies ofevidence, (10) and Magnet Theatre's Every Year, Every Day, I Am Walking and more especially, Ingcwaba lendoda lise cankwe ndlela (The Grave of the Man is at the Side of the Road), directed by Mandla Mbothwe, also of Magnet.
It led to the creation of Elephant, the play devised in the North East and South Africa which is shortly to be performed on Broadway, and to a new piece of work which Dodgy Clutch will premiere at the Grahamstown festival this summer.
Panoramas of Passage premiered in South Africa at the renowned Grahamstown Festival in July.
After returning from a tour through France, Holland and the Isle of Man with his Puns and Doedie shows, Friedman toured the Garden Route in South Africa in 1987 and also performed at the Grahamstown Festival, Durban Expo and Gold Reef City.
The Grahamstown Festival is significantly more representative in terms of race than Aardklop or KKNK, although in all three cases the festivals are generally supported more by the white community (Snowball & Willis, 2006; Visser, 2007).
They state that, although the Grahamstown Festival is significantly more representative in terms of race than Aardklop and KKNK, it is still mainly patronised by the white community.
For three years running The Beauty Contest drew full houses and standing ovations at the Grahamstown Festival of the Arts.
Church leaders in Windhoek objected to the 'crude language' in King of the Dump (aka Tarzan, Koning van die Rubbish Dump), a play that examines the de-humanising effects of Apartheid that forced many people to eke out a living off rubbish dumps, but after winning first prize in the Kellerprinz Theatre Festival in Capetown in 1985, it was well received by audiences at the Grahamstown Festival both in 1986 and again in 1987.