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NAF programme bursts with stellar shows

Published on 9 May 2016

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][NEWSLETTER] The programme for this year’s National Arts Festival is loaded with shows that promise to make you think, make you laugh and allow you to lose yourself  as artists, dancers, performers and festival-goers take over Grahamstown from 30 June – 10 July.

There are some sure-fire hot favourites on the programme this year, including the premiere of featured artist, director Lara Foot’s The Inconvenience of Wings, starring theatre bluebloods Andrew Buckland, Mncedisi Shabangu and Jennifer Steyn. Foot will also bring her plays Karoo Moose and the internationally acclaimed Tshepang to this year’s Festival.

The 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre Jade Bowers presents Scorched, a story of the cycles of war, family, memory and history; Jemma Kahn (The Epicene Butcher) makes the step-up from the Fringe with the final instalment of her kamishibai trilogy, In Bocca al Lupo; and Fort Hare alumunus Can Themba is lauded in two plays – The House of Truth (starring Sello Maake KaNcube) and the Market Theatre’s Crepuscule, in a fitting tribute to the centenary of the university.

Janni Younge’s much-anticipated production The Firebird is another one to watch. This re-imagining of the original ballet is set to the Stravinsky score but presented in a contemporary South African style featuring giant puppets. The piece is choreographed by Jay Pather with lighting design by Mannie Manim.

Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Dance Themba Mbuli partners with the Unmute Dance Company to present Sold!, a theatrical reclamation of historical identity through a conversation in the present; while Nadine Joseph examines identity and the representation of women in Looking/Seeing/ Believing/Disappearing.

Jazz legend Caiphus Semenya, Ringo Madlingozi, rockers Prime Circle and African hip-hop star AKA represent just some of the diverse musical genres at the Festival. The stories of Margit Niederhuber and Albie Sachs’ book on South Africa’s City of Gold are put to music in the performance My Johannesburg, while the sensational Asanda Mqiki belts out soulful R&B and African ballads in her show The Balladeer.

This is just a taste of the hundreds of productions that feature on the 2016 National Arts Festival programme, crammed with pieces that challenge, transform and delight.

For more information on how to get to the Festival, where to stay and what to book, browse our site.