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The National Arts Festival Comes to SA Cities From This Week

Published on 15 June 2021

Nthato Mokgata, 'Afro Jazz Giants Hip Hop Tribute'

Mid pandemic, the National Arts Festival predicted that for some, the annual arts pilgrimage to Makhanda may be more challenging this year. So, while a smaller, tighter 11 days of amazing will still be happening live in Makhanda for the superfans, arts explorers and Eastern Cape audiences, the NAF, with the support of Standard Bank, will also be bringing select shows to arts lovers in their own home towns. 

Residents of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Gqeberha and Durban can look forward to the new Standard Bank Presents programme brought to them by the National Arts Festival in their own city, starting on 17 June and running till the 4 July 2021, with a very special hybrid comedy show on 10 July. 

The shows selected for these events include an exciting line-up of new theatre releases; performances by the 2020 Standard Bank Young Artists and a powerful programme of jazz as part of the annual Standard Bank Jazz Festival. 

Shows in Partner Venues

In Cape Town, the concerts and shows will be happening at Gallery 44, a theatre space in Long Street. In Durban, audiences will see shows at the Seabrooke’s Theatre at Durban High School and in Johannesburg the programme is spread across the Market Theatre complex, AFDA Red Roof Theatre and Wits Theatre. Standard Bank Presents will also be coming to Walmer in Gqeberha, where the shows will happen at the Masifunde Learner Academy. All shows will be staged under strict Covid-19 protocols with socially distanced seating, mandatory wearing of masks and a vigorous sanitising routine before and after shows.

A ground-breaking edition of the Festival’s traditional Very Big Comedy Show will, this year, evolve into a hybrid show that will take place in three cities simultaneously – to live and online audiences boasting a line-up of 12 top comedians and all-star hosts on 10 July. 

Mandisi Dyantyis will be on the programme at the Cape Town edition of Standard Bank Presents
Sophie Joans and Maggie Gericke in The Flower Hunters.

The NAF Continues to Evolve

“It truly is a privilege to be part of the evolution of the NAF, finding new ways to deliver the Festival experience and creating a showcase for talent beyond its traditional home in Makhanda. The Standard Bank Presents programme brings a taste of Makhanda closer to these audiences in local venues that they’re familiar with,” says Desiree Pooe, Head of Sponsorship & Events at Standard Bank.

National Arts Festival CEO, Monica Newton, explains that the Standard Bank Presents shows are a taste of what lies in store for visitors to the live Festival in Makhanda, “The National Arts Festival is an experience like no other, there is nothing quite like spending your entire day inside the minds of artists. You feel challenged, invigorated and inspired. We wanted to bring that experience to our audiences in cities, but we encourage people who have never been to Makhanda for the Festival to put it on their bucket list or even better, come and join us for a truly unique Festival this year. The arts really are food for the soul, and we think these shows will definitely whet your appetite.”

Strict COVID-19 protocols will be in place during all of our live events. Mask wearing will be essential, there will be social distancing and spaced seating as per the government regulations and there will be no interval. The venues will be thoroughly sanitized between events.

The Standard Bank Presents programme can be viewed online here and all booking links are on the show page so you can book your tickets directly from there.

You can find a calendar view of the National Arts Festival Programme here

Tickets for Standard Bank Presents are on sale now.