Artsvark Guide to the festival – Day 2

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A troupe of acrobats entertain the crowd gathered on the Transnet Village Green, not far from the beer tent.
A troupe of acrobats entertain the crowd gathered on the Transnet Village Green, not far from the beer tent.

The National Arts Festival is slowly waking up, town is starting to fill up slowly too, there is still limited parking along the high street which is always a good indicator of how full town is. The beer tent on the Village Green had a reasonable crowd outside and a vast array of empty tables inside by lunch time yesterday. Today is the second day of festival, but also Friday, so a lot of people are expected to arrive today, so enjoy being able to find parking and seats at the restaurants and beer tents while you still can.

Yesterday’s recommendations included Dead Yellow Sands, which now comes even more highly recommended now that we’ve seen the show. Read a review of the show on this site. Our other recommendation yesterday was Oomasisulu which the Artsvark team will see this evening so look out for that review tomorrow.

Think!Fest begins today, and this year has the usual mix of thought provoking and relevant panel discussions, with a range of interesting panellists with strong views on the matters at hand. On the Think!Fest lineup today at 14:00 is a discussion entitled “Decolonising the Arts” the Blue Lecture Theatre and sounds from the title alone like a discussion that is likely to get heated and be anything but dull.

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Our first recommendation today is to see Secret Ballot, if you enjoy protest theatre and take interest in South Africa’s young democracy, then this play could be right up your alley. The play explores political dynamics and is set in the run up to, during and post the 2014 general elections. The show starts at 11:00 today, tickets are R65 and you can find more details on the festival program on page 48.

The Graveyard is brought to the festival this year by Rust Co-Operative, previous winners of three Standard Bank Ovation Awards, this show tells the story of a man returning to the basement of his childhood home to dig up his past. The show written by Phillip Rademeyer features Bo Petersen (director of Dead Yellow Sands), Gideon Lombard and Sarah Potter. This show runs daily at 14:30, tickets are R60 each and more information can be found on page 169 of the Festival Programme.

If you enjoy cooking shows on TV, and you enjoy irreverent humour and sexual innuendo, then a show that describes itself as the “Top Gear of cooking shows” runs daily at 18:30. Don’t Burn Your Sausage features Masterchef Celebrity South Africa winner Chris Forrest with celebrity chef “Kitchen Cowboy” Pete Goffe-Wood.

Trio Corrente performing at DSG Hall, now Jazz Town as part of the Standard Bank National Jazz Festival #NAF2016
Trio Corrente performing at DSG Hall, now Jazz Town as part of the Standard Bank National Jazz Festival #NAF2016

If you’re not heading to the jazz at the Standard Bank National Jazz Festival but you want to get some music into your plans today, then Matthew van der Want comes highly recommended, a regular on stages in Grahamstown, inside and outside of the arts festival. He’s live at The Fringe Club tonight at 20:00. More info on page 254.

That’s our recommendations for the day, send us your feedback and recommendations, or submit your own review if you wish, to editor@artsvark.co.za

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